Mr Herbert Acquaye, National President of Ghana Hotels Association (GHA) has said the Association was poised to build capacity of hoteliers to be competitive to meet the growing challenges in the industry.
Mr Acquaye said the Association would establish a practical hotel school headed by the African Hospitality School to support the growth of the industry and to help industry players compete to international standards.
He said this in Accra at the second 2016 GHA Awards Night used to recognised hardworking individual and institutions in the industry.
The ceremony was on the theme “Enhancing Hotel Operations though information and communication technology”.
Mr Acquaye said the hotel industry was making rapid changes in its operations as lifestyle changes due to the use of ICT, and that there was need for industry players to meet these growing expectations to survive.
Mr Acquaye said security had become a major issue due to the terrorist threat and attacks in the sub-region and that most facilities have had to review their security arrangements at significant costs hence increasing their general overhead expenses.
Mr Acquaye said the constant bombardment by agencies of state with levies, charges, fees, penalties and taxes without any recourse to discussions and negotiations was a worry on the operations of the industry.
“Hotels have become a source of internally generated fund for most organisations at the peril of our sustenance and survival but despite all these hoteliers have taken the shocks, kept their facilities running, looked after their staff… and paid taxes to government and others,” he added.
Mr Kwame Debrah, a member of the Association said one major factor that contributed to the rise in the number of hotels in the country particularly in the Central Region was government’s declaration of tourism as priority sector.
“To achieve the vision, between 1990 and 1994 some hotel proprietors were given banks loans for renovation or upgrading of their facility and the repairing of the castles and forts, the creation of the Kakum National Parks Canopy Walkway and the commencement of the celebration of Panafest,” he added.
He said as at December 2014, there were 2,570 hotels in the country and 41,331 rooms with 45,507 beds, two five star hotels, seven four star hotels, thirty six three star hotels 256 two star hotels, 214 one star hotels and 156 guest houses and 10800 and 1,804 budget hotels.
African Regent Hotel was adjudged the Hotel Restaurant for the Year 2016, Tang Palace Hotel won the Food and Beverage Team of the Year, Labadi Beach Hotel got the Hotel Kitchen of the Year, while Samaritan Hotel won the Budget Hotel of the Year.
Golden Gate Hotel won the One Star Hotel of the Year in the Ashanti Region, and Excelsa Lodge won the Two Star Hotel of the Year, whilst Golden Bean Hotel won the Three Star Hotel of the Year.
In the Greater Accra Region Tribeca Hotel won the One Star of the Year, while Airport View Hotel emerged the Two Star of the Year and Oak Plaza Hotel won the Three Star Hotel of the Year.