Tamale, April 29, GNA - The National President of the Ghana Hoteliers Association, Nana Adjei Twinini has urged the Northern Regional Administration and Traditional Councils to release land for investors to build more hotels in the region.
He explained that the region was endowed with many historical sites that could attract both local and foreign tourists and therefore needed more hotels to accommodate them.
Nana Twinini was speaking at the second National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Ghana Hoteliers Association in Tamale on Thursday. He said the Northern region has only 48 hotels, describing the number as inadequate.
"We need more hotels to create employment opportunities for the youth and to support the tourism industry."
Nana Twinini announced that the association was collaborating with Commercial Market Strategies (CMS) to source funding from the Aids Commission to campaign against the spread of HIV/AIDS.
He said hotel operators had started to sack commercial sex workers from their hotel premises and were also in constant consultation with the security agencies to flush out criminals.
Nana Twinini urged the government to continue to support the hotel industry to enhance the tourism industry to earn more foreign exchange for the country.
He announced that the association had applied for financial support from the Economic Regional Development Fund through the Ministry of Regional Co-operation and NEPAD to help address the fallen standards. Nana Twinini said the Ministry of Tourism and the Modernisation of the Capital City was collaborating with Ghana Tourist Board to organise workshops in the regions to educate members on the ECOWAS standards for all units in the hotel industry.
He appealed to the hotel operators to maximise the use of their resources to improve the image of their hotels to march up to the ECOWAS standards.
Mr Charles Bintim, Deputy Regional Minister commended the efforts of the association for braving into the new economic sector, creating wealth not only for themselves but also for the country as a whole.
He said the government was aware of the negative impact that the Dagbon crises had had on their businesses and assured members of the association that the government was working hard to remedy the situation to promote their businesses.
He said the hotel industry has supported the tourism sector to earn 500 million dollars annually for the country but noted that the five billion dollar target set for the tourism sector would be a mirage if there were no marked infrastructure improvement in the hotel industry.
The Minister urged the members to take advantage of the fallen rate of inflation and the cost borrowing, thriving stock exchange as well as the stabled foreign exchange to enhance their businesses.