The Central Region chapter of the Ghana Hoteliers Association (GHA) has projected that the industry will bounce back to normalcy by next year.
According to them, the restrictions on conferences and related activities would not have immediate impact on the revenue of the hospitality industry.
They said as much as 2022 had a better prospect compared to 2020 and 2021, the industry would take some few more years to recoup what was lost to the pandemic.
The Vice Chairman of the Association and the General Manager of the Coconut Grove Hotel in Cape Coast, Mr Victor Minta, told the GNA in an interview on Tuesday.
He explained that a lot of institutions had developed taste for online conferencing, and it would require a concerted effort from all industry players to encourage people to return to physical meetings where networking and interactions were more impactful.
“A lot of organisations have gotten used to having meetings online because every organisation may be looking at cost. We need to go and sensitise people that Zoom might be okay but meeting face-to-face has added benefits. Having a meeting face-to-face is sometimes different from what we do on Zoom,” he said.
Mr Minta further noted that it was critical for industry players to put in extra work to help drive businesses in general for the hospitality sector as they strived to generate the necessary revenue and create job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth.
“Most facilities had to lay off a lot of staff during the pandemic and if issues come to normal, the people can be re-employed to have a source of income,” the Vice Chair added.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his 28th televised address on the coronavirus situation in the country announced a range of revised measures to ease a number COVID-19 restrictions.
Key among them was the reopening of Ghana’s land and sea borders and the announcement that the wearing of nose mask was optional.
“All in-person activities, such as those that take place in churches, mosques, conferences, workshops, private parties and events, cinemas and theatres may resume at full capacity, as long as the audience and/or participants are fully vaccinated. Hand washing and hand sanitising points should be made available at these venues,” he declared.
Lauding the government for the revised measures, Mr Minta intimated that it behoved on hoteliers and hospitality professionals to, more than ever, insist on adherence of the remaining protocols which were still in force.
“I know that the nose mask is not mandatory anymore but of course, within enclosed environments, it can be encouraged,” he added.
He, however, called for a holistic discussion on the condition which suggests that all persons attending various meetings must be fully vaccinated because he shuddered that would reduce their numbers even further.
He observed, for instance, that the absence of technology to authenticate vaccination cards at various facilities made it difficult to comply effectively.
“Moreover, if you look at the number of people that have been vaccinated as against those that have not been vaccinated, it means we will be restricting a huge percentage of the population from attending conferences, meetings and events and that will affect our operations,” he said.
“That notwithstanding, we can do physical check-ups on arrival of participants”, the Coconut Grove Hotel boss added.