About eight hundred thousand workers in the hospitality, leisure, and tourism sectors are said to have lost their jobs.
According to the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), the sector is currently on the verge of collapse due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus which has infected 3,091 people in Ghana of which 18 have died and 303 clinically cured.
Also, about 752 car rental workers in the Greater Accra region alone are said to have lost their jobs whilst 352,000 people in the informal sector are jobless now.
Executive Secretary for Ghana Tourism Federation, Mr. Emmanuel Frimpong, who revealed this on Onua FM’s morning show, ‘Yen Nsempa’ on Thursday, said more job losses are expected as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreck their businesses.
The sector, according to Mr. Frimpong, is currently dwindling by 90% and expressed fears the situation would persist for quite a long time due to the global loss of confidence in tourism.
“The hospitality sector will take time to recover even if countries open borders allowing airlines to operate,” he stated, and explained that is “because people are now surviving on savings made let alone to get money and travel to other places.”
He observed that even if the COVID-19 pandemic is over, it will take about a year to maintain or revive the tourist sector “and if nothing is done about the situation, the sector would suffer total fold up.”
Mr. Frimpong revealed they are in talks with the government to support them in paying their workers otherwise they will be forced to sack them and shut down their businesses.
He expressed optimism that the government will do everything possible to give them a stimulus package to sustain their businesses.
“The last time we met President Akufo-Addo at Jubilee House, he made us understand that the Finance Ministry was processing to secure about 3 billion Ghana cedis from the Central Bank to support small and medium-sized enterprises which they stand a chance to benefit,” Mr. Frimpong recalled.
Once the government does that, he said, players will be able to sustain their businesses and re-employ all staff.