The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Akwasi Agyemang, has threatened to close down hotels which fail to uphold protective measures against the spread of the Coronavirus.
The measures include the placement of notices to guests to educate them on health conditions, the need to place hand sanitizers and hand washing points in hotel premises to prevent the spread of the deadly pandemic.
“If we have to close down hotels for not observing the measures put in place to prevent the spread of the diseased, we will do that because the law is there and we can apply it,” he told Joy FM in an interview.
Akwasi Agyemang noted that the widespread of the Coronavirus had seriously affected the hospitality sector in the country due to cancellation of hotel bookings and conferences scheduled for the months of March and April.
“The tourism and hospitality sector are quite sensitive and so when things of this nature happen it is a sector that directly gets hit,” he said.
Many of these cancellations, BEATWAVES gathered, happened after the President’s directive against mass gatherings and the announcement of travel advisory by the information minister, all in the bid to contain and prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
The situation, according to the Ghana Hotel Association (GHA), is likely to worsen in the coming months if nothing is done to support its members.
The association is therefore asking for reliefs through tax cuts so that they do not shut down their facilities completely.
In a related development, tourism activities including meetings and visitations to Wli Waterfalls in the Hohoe Municipality of the Volta Region had been suspended until further notice due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic.
A statement signed by Togbega Lo I, Paramount Chief of Wli Traditional Area, said the 2020 Easter Monday and Tuesday activities had also been suspended with immediate effect as part of measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Wli Waterfalls, which cascades from a height of about 80m, is mostly visited on holidays and festive occasions including Easter Mondays.
In December 2019, more than 400 individuals and 30 groups of people both local and foreign visited the waterfalls in the Hohoe Municipality on Boxing Day.
By George Clifford Owusu