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25.04.2004 Regional News

Upper West hoteliers ask govt to expedite action on TDF

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Wa, April 25, GNA- A number of hotel proprietors and managers in the Upper West Region have appealed to the government to expedite action on the establishment of the proposed Tourism Development Fund (TDF). The fund when established would provide access to credit facilities for operators in the tourism and hotel industry to improve upon the quality and standards of their services.

The proprietors made the call at a day's workshop on the new harmonised ECOWAS Standards for Hotel Classification for 16 hotel proprietors and managers. It was organised at Wa by the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) for operators in the Upper West Region.

They said the establishment of the fund would enable them to access the needed financial assistance to improve upon their services. Opening the workshop, Mr Edward Owusu-Mensah, Acting Deputy Executive Director of the GTB said the ECOWAS Protocol on Tourism enjoins all member states to maintain uniform standards of hotel facilities and services.

He said government's investment in training facilities, the implementation of the five-year strategic plan (2003 to 2007) and the likely institution of a tourism development fund are expected to boost tourism industry in Ghana and complement the efforts of the private sector in pushing the industry forward.

The workshop, Mr. Owusu-Mensah said was to provide the platform for hotel operators to study the standards in detail, to understand the rationale for the new standards and to be able to implement them. He also announced that the cut-off date for the implementation of the harmonised hotel standards is January 1, 2006, and urged the proprietors to put in the much needed investments to bring their hotels to the required standards.

Miss Agnes Boateng, Manager, Quality Assurance, GTB took the participants through the level of improvements they are expected to carry out in their hotels, with regard to landscaping, sewerage disposal, kitchen hygiene and accommodation, among others.

She also asked them to take adequate measures to stop prostitution at their hotels.

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