Need for Hospitality Legislation, Legal Regime & National Hospitality Development Blueprint
The hospitality tourism sub-sector covers accommodation and catering (food and beverages), fast food restaurants, coffee/tea shops, highway rest stops, night clubs, the entertainment and conference aspects in the tourism-mix.
It is the major key man-made, crucial and essential element in the overall tourism product-mix, which is an outstanding and important competitive sub-sector that is very strategic, and plays very vital and crucial role in the health, growth and standing of all competitive destinations. The hospitality sub-sector stands tall as the star performer whose innovation and ingenuity is key to placing the country on the competitive global tourism.
The hospitality industry stands tall and ranked as the second most essential tourism-unique selling-point (T-USP), next to the cultural industry. The hospitality industry is, however, the largest and the foremost pull and push factor in the Ghanaian narrative and the burgeoning industry.
Ghana’s vibrant tourism growth is driven and shaped by a number hospitality investors and industry players, and facilities that are composed of both indigenous and foreign brands.
Notable and prominent indigenous and foreign brands that dominate and operate in the Ghanaian tourism and hospitality industry across the country include Alisa hotels, Accra City, African Regent, Akosombo Continental, Afrikiko River Front, Aqua Safari Resort hotels and Coconut Groove Regency Hotels. Others are Axim Beach Resorts, Royal Senchi, Rock City, Maha Beach Resort, Ramada Beach Resort, Holiday Inn, Sogakope Beach, Capital View, Eastern Premier, Mac-Dic, Busua Beach, Elmina Beach, Eli Beach ,Golden Bean, Chesterfield, Crismon ,Alexis, Joecal ,Pempamsie, La Villa Boutique, City Escape, Royal Nick , Windy Lodge, Durowaa Plus Lodge, Brenu Beach Lodge, Anita’s, Golden Beach Hotels, , Peduase Valley Resort, Bojo Beach, M-Plaza, Mensvic Grand Hotels. The rest consist of Best Western Plus Atlantic, Bojo Beach, Royal Nick, N’Joy, Golden Touch Executive Lodge, Green Height, California Lodge, Golden Beach, Ocean Green, Okukuseku Club House, Royal Movie Palace, Simple Sunflower, Grace Bay, La Palm Royal Beach and Labadi Pleasure Hotelsm – which are prominent indigenous hospitality brands and industry giants that stand out to make Ghana’s infant and fledging tourism industry very attractive and competitive.
Notable among outstanding foreign hospitality industry giants and brands on the other hand whose exploits and ingenuity made Ghana’s fledging tourism industry are: Holiday Inn, Kempinski Hotel, Gold Coast City, Movenpick Ambassador, Golden Tulip, Fiesta Royale, Accra Marriott, Ibis Styles Apartments, Fiesta Residence, Protea Marriott, Southern Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken. These have contributed immensely to add glitz and glamour to raise the bar on Ghana’s tourism scene with style and colour.
Other decorated and impressive hospitality operators and captains whose operations have contributed in diverse ways to make and promote brand Ghana are: Ankobra Beach City Escape, Durowaa Plus Lodge, Brenu Beach Lodge, Crismon ,Alexis, Joecal, Chesterfield, Eastern Premier, Tang Palace, Green Height, Global View, Golden Beach Hotels, Golden Bean, Golden Touch Executive Lodge, Royal Nick , Windy Lodge, Pempamsie, La Villa Boutique, Frankies Food & Rooms, Roots Apartments, Azemera, Jofel Catering, Linda D’or, Papaye, Trafix , Country Chicken, Sky Plus, Volta Serene. Additional brands are Roots Apartments, Tulip Inn, Imperial Peking Chinese Restaurant, Leonardo da Vinci’s, Haveli, Dynasty, Heritage Indian, Little Indian Sunshine Salad Bar, Le Magellan Restaurant, Southern Fried Chicken and The Honey Suckle. The rest are Wok Inn Chinese, Buka Restaurant, and Zion Thai.
Additional tourism industry players who have contributed in bits and pieces to put Ghana on the competitive international tourism map include Palm By Eagles, Eagle Lodge Kingstel, Long Ji International, Planters By Eagles, Raybow International, Hilcrest, Hotel De Hilda, Ack-View, Akroma Plaza, Classlink, Grand Favor, Stella Lodge, Ahenfie, Tenack Beach Resort, Christian Lodge Motel and Okatakyie Hotel. Other players are: Nhyira, Royal City, Super Gardens, Twin City, Western Vip, Alaska Beach Resort, Arvo, B& Q Guest Inn, Ghana Government Pensioners Association Guest House, Heaven Helps , Hotel De Ruco, Lagoon side, Latino Guest House, Majestic, Ridgeway, Western Palmlands, Western Royal Palme, Whin River and Windy Queens Hotels, among the others.
The Hospitality Factor & National Tourism Outlook
Certified data and Statistics on the state of Ghana’s hospitality industry made available to the Business and Financial Times tourism desk from the Standards and Quality Assurance (S&QA) Directorate of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) Head office – Accra, revealed that as at the last quarter of 2021, there are 4,076 duly certified ,licensed and accredited hospitality accommodation and catering facilities of indigenous and foreign brand as industry players of various classes, grades and standards that are located in the regions across the country on the country’s hospitality register. Among these 5-Star is the foremost grading in the accommodation sub-sector, while grade-3 is the topmost for the food and beverage facilities.
Act 817 is Negligent & Relegatory
The hospitality sub-sector is the foremost growth promoter to the national tourism outlook currently, as it is reflective in the above data and statistics. The above and other hospitality sub-sector’s impressive results are proof and demonstration of agility, resilience and the key contribution of the hospitality sub-sector to the national socio-economic transformation and development, and the country’s international tourism standing over the years.
The sector effectively stood out as the leading contributor to the country’s improving tourism growth and stature, but the Tourism Act as currently exists is very negligent and relegatory of the strategic and indispensable national hospitality industry. Royal Senchi Resort @ Senchi near Atimpoku is Eastern Region’s largest hospitality facility
National Tourism Legal Regime
The Ghanaian tourism space has a number of enactments on its statutes that are applicable as the relevant laws which apply as far as the conduct and operation of tourism business is concerned in the Ghanaian jurisdiction.
Notable among the suitable and applicable Tourism Laws in the Ghanaian industry include the Act 2011 and Act 817. Other sector-related laws such as the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) Act 1969, NLCD 387, the National Commission on Culture (NCC) Law 1990, PNDCL 238, the National Cultural and the Culture Trust Fund Policy 2004, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the Tourism Development Levy/Fund Act 2011, Act 817, the Film Classification, Development, Film Development Fund, the National Film Authority (NFA) Act 2016, Act 935, the Chieftaincy Act 2008 ,Act 759 as well as the Creative Arts (CA), the Creative Agency (CAA) and the Creative Arts Industry Development Fund (CAIDF) 2020, Act 1048.
The Tourism Act 2011, Act 817 stands out as the most remarkable bold attempted national attempt to create the enabling ecosystem for holistic national tourism development, aimed at repositioning the tourism industry as a major front burner in national socio-economic diversification, expansion and modernisation.
Cursory perusal of the above tourism sectorial laws point to some defects and weaknesses on these laws – many of these legislations are obsolete, fragmented and duplicative.
Strangely, though, the Tourism Act 2011, Act 817, the current national tourism legislation and legal regime (NTL&LR) has relegated and neglected the hospitality sub-sector.
The above factors and others – including the relegation and omission of chiefs and the cultural industry as front burner in the national tourism development strategy – call for an urgent overhaul and holistic comprehensive national tourism development reforms to adjust in tune with the new societal coronavirus (COVID-19) era norms.
The tourism industry is the industry of the moment; the universal multi-million competitive industry is very much relevant to Ghana’s socio-economic diversification, transformation and modernisation aspirations now more than ever. Ghana cannot afford to miss out on the global tourism train; the country need to take very proactive and pragmatic strategies to overhaul , rework re-engineer and reposition its burgeoning infant tourism industry for rapid growth, to have her fair share of the global tourism revenue, an astute industry player, and an attractive and competitive tourism hub.
Rework & Re-engineer Tourism Act
Secondly, there is the pressing need for re-evaluation and amendments on the Tourism Act to capture the indispensable, strategic, yet neglected and relegated frontline tourism sector players – such as traditional authorities and their players including chiefs, queen-mothers, the arts and hospitality industries – for inclusive and holistic national tourism development.
Assemblies & Traditional Authorities as Statutory Tourism Custodians
The proposed new national tourism legislation and legal regime must champion and promote a decentralised tourism development regime strategy that must designate Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), and traditional authorities including chiefs and queen-mothers as the statutory tourism custodians and front burner players.
Hospitality Legislation & Development Blueprint
The hospitality industry is a major key man-made, crucial and essential factor in the overall tourism-product-mix, and it stands as the second most essential tourism-unique selling-point (T-USP). It is an outstanding and competitive sub-sector and it is very important to enact a national hospitality legislation as well as a national hospitality development blueprint.
National Tourism Development must be incentivised, driven and shaped by both indigenous and foreign brands and players.
Harmonised Tourism Laws
To promote an accelerated national tourism development and competitive investment atmosphere, and ease of doing business in Ghana, over her competitors, there is need to consider harmonising the tourism sector laws, including the Tourism ,the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the Tourism Development Levy/Fund Act 2011, Act 817, the GMMB Act 1969, NLCD 387, the NCC Law 1990, PNDCL 238 and the National Cultural and the Culture Trust Fund Policy 2004 into one national tourism development, regulation and promotion Law. Other tourism sector laws – the Film Classification, Development, Film Development Fund, the National Film Authority (NFA) Act 2016, Act 935, the Chieftaincy Act 2008, Act 759, as well as the Creative Arts (CA), the Creative Agency (CAA) and the Creative Arts Industry Development Fund (CAIDF) 2020, Act 1048 – must all be considered as part of the harmonised national tourism development law.
Additionally national tourism development reforms must also explore the merger of current and existing tourism related statutory bodies – such as the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, the National Commission on Culture, the Ghana Tourism Authority, the National Film Authority and the Creative Agency – into a modern, well -funded and resourced National Tourism Development and Regulation Commission.
A number of indigenous hospitality industry operators stand out as giant brands whose innovative activations and resilience have contributed in diverse ways to give an appreciable locus on the competitive world tourism ranking and standing, as a force to reckon with.
Notable among them are: Alisa Hotels, African Regent, Aborigines Beach Resort, Anita Hotel, Axim Beach, Bojo Beach Resorts, Coconut Grove, Cozy Ridge, Golden Beam, Sogakope Beach Resort, La-Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Royal Senchi Resorts, Chances, Volta Serene Hotel, Rock City Hotel, Sun lodge Hotel, Lake Bosomtwi Paradise , Linda D’or, Trafix Catering Services, Jofel Catering Services, among others.