Elmina, April 30, GNA – Sand winning at beaches in the Central Region is not only destroying the beaches but also hotels, restaurants and other properties along the coast, the Chairman of the Central Region Branch of the Ghana Hoteliers’ Association, Mr. Ben Aidoo, has said.
He said this had become a matter of great concern to the Association and appealed to the Regional Police Command and the Environmental Protection Authority to assist in curbing the practice to save the Region from possible loss of beach front property.
Mr. Aidoo expressed the concern at the Second National Executive Council Meeting of the Ghana Hoteliers\' Association on the theme “Improving the retiring benefits of the Ghanaian hotel employee” at Elmina.
The Ghana Hoteliers’ Pension Fund to secure a better future for hotel employees after retiring was also launched at the meeting.
The Fund will be managed by Databank Asset and Management Services with Stanbic Investment Management Services as Custodians and Axis Pension Trust Limited as Trustees.
He said there was the need to protect and manage the hospitality industry to open more job avenues.
It is estimated the industry employs about 42,000 people with 33,000 of the number being full time employees and the rest part time and casual or temporary employees.
Mr Aidoo enumerated other challenges facing the industry to include the lack of funds for tourism projects and difficulty in getting people with the requisite qualification to fill vacancies.
He said despite its accolade as “the heartbeat of tourism” in the country, the Central Region could only boast of two major tourist sites - the Kakum National Park and the castles in Elmina and Cape Coast.
Mr Aidoo said there was the need for tourism products to be diversified to attract more people to the Region and that the Regional Association had identified the Fosu Lagoon as a potential major tourist centre that could create a lot of employment and generate revenue.
He appealed to the government to grant the Association soft loans to enable it to develop the Lagoon area into a tourist site.
Government should also reduce charges on tourist entry as well as visa fees and ease visa requirements in order not to have Ghana labeled as an expensive place to visit.