The Ghana Hotels Association is pleading with government to support the payment of salaries for hotel staff that have been sent home due to low patronage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hospitality and tourism industry is among the sectors severely hit by the pandemic as hotel rooms and conference rooms are almost empty due to restrictions on movement in and out of the country.
Already, some hotels in the Greater Accra Region have closed down sending hundreds of workers home.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyamike, said hotel managers may be compelled to lay off more workers and stop paying salaries for this period if government does not step in.
“The stimulus package we’ve been talking about relates more to how to maintain our staff during this challenging period, because a lot of the hotels have been able to manage to pay salaries for March; but the challenge is going to be for April. I have heard quite a number of them have shut down. The big question is what happens to their staff. What we are saying is that, is it possible for the government to support us in paying some of these staff so that we keep them on the payroll, so that when things get better, we just pick up the pieces and move on,” he quizzed.
“We don’t want a situation where we layoff the workers after all the investments and training and then when things change, we are now going to recruit more and train them again. That is going to be far more expensive than maintaining them. We are not asking for full salary support, it could be some percentage of the salary so that they are able to keep body and soul together through these times,” he added.