Eusbett Hotel, a 3-Star ultramodern facility in Sunyani, has awarded 25 workers for their outstanding performances in 2020 that have propelled the hotel higher on the pedestal in the hospitality industry.
The deserving hotel staff received items such as refrigerators, gas cooking stoves and plaques of honour. They were honoured at an annual staff dinner and awards night held at the Eusbett International Conference Centre.
The CEO and Executive Chairman of Eusbett Group of Companies, Sir Sam Bennett, in an address described the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry as immeasurable, as many hotels were forced to shut down operations. He however noted that Eusbett Hotel weathered the storm without closing down or laying off workers.
He applauded the management and staff for their commitment, loyalty and hard work to keep the hotel in business during the height of the pandemic as many facilities were wobbling to stay afloat – adding that in the midst of the difficulties, Eusbett was adjudged the 2020 Best Hotel in Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA).
“The hotel operated throughout the pandemic, albeit without profit, but in so doing saved jobs of our 150 team members; saved potential hardship on dependents of our team members; provided accommodation for frontline health care service providers who had to travel to the region; and got meals delivered to clients in their homes and offices as they observed social distancing,” he said.
In the rising wave of reported COVID-19 case numbers in the country and its devastating effect on the hospitality industry, Mr. Bennett underscored the need for government to consider a special stimulus package – such as a reduction of tax rates or, better still, suspension for the upmarket hotels.
This, he explained, would supplement other interventions given to low-market hotels by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), saying: “This would go a long way to relieve the hotels and reposition them to recoup lost profits, recall laid-off workers and generally improve operations”.
The General Manager of Eusbett Hotel, Robert Mensah, observed that the pandemic outbreak has made the facility to entrench on some services to make them better, while new ones have also been introduced.
He said: “We have introduced a cashless payment system wherein guest can make payments to us from their bank apps, mobile money wallets and with their ATM (Visa & MasterCard) debit cards. Our website has also been augmented to make it possible for clients to make payments to us directly.”
He further announced that the hotel has fulfilled the requirements for an upgrade to a 4-Star facility. When granted, Eusbett Hotel will become first and only wholly Ghanaian-owned and managed facility in the country.
The Acting GTA Manage in charge of Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions, Joseph Appiagyei, stressed the need for operators of hospitality facilities to uphold ‘innovation and strategic thinking’ to withstand the shocks of COVID-19 and other operational challenges. He urged operators not to lower their guard in adhering to the safety protocols, adding: “We will not renew the licence of any facility that fails to do the needful”.
He also advised workers in the hospitality space to strive and add value to themselves so as to remain relevant in the industry. “The industry that you find yourself is very dynamic, and it calls for people with knowledgeable stuff to adjust to the trends of tourism.”