General Manager of Coconut Grove Regency Hotel in Accra, Ralph Ayitey, has bemoaned what he describes as the ?conspicuous? neglect of the hospitality industry by the central government, despite the industry?s huge contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.

He revealed that, ?As at the end of the third quarter of last year, the government had accrued into state coffers $2.3 billion from tourism alone, far more than the $434 million it got from the Oil and Gas [project.?]

Mr. Ayitey made the observation in an interview with Today.

He could not understand government?s continuing refusal to appreciate the huge contribution made by players in the hospitality industry towards the growth and development of the country.

If they appreciate that contribution, they would assistthe industry to do more for Ghana, he affirmed.

Mr. Ayitey mentioned some government interventions for the agricultural sector, which, he said, include ?free spraying of cocoa farms, subsidies on fertilizers and loans to farmers to [enable them] expand their businesses.

No similar facilities have been extended to the hospitality industry, he said adding, ?That is sad indeed.?

Touching on difficulty in gaining security personnel, he said, ?It is quite easy for banks to secure 24-hour police services but difficult for hotels especially to secure this same facility.?

Additionally, the Coconut Grove Regency GM said, the depreciation of the cedi, frequent power outages and irregular flow of water are also major challenges confronting the hospitality industry.

It was against this backdrop that Mr. Ayitey commended the efforts of the Ghana Hotels Association, who are doing their best through the difficulties.

??The Ghana Hotels Association is doing its best within its means. However, it is a private association, and must be supported,? he affirmed.

The video of this story is available at www.youtube.com/mytodaynews.

STORY: PHILIP KUMI

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