Govt support for us good, we’re looking for more opportunities – Tour operators

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The support that the government of Ghana has given to businesses including tour operators, in the wake of the COVID-19 will keep small businesses alive, Mr Kwesi Eyison, President of the Tour Operators Union of Ghana, has said.

He told Francis Doku on the Travel Pass show on 3FM 92.7 on Sunday, May 31 that apart from the government’s support, the leadership of the union are also looking for other opportunities for its members in the wake of the pandemic.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched a one billion Ghana cedi stimulus package to provide relief to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), hard-hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 Alleviation Programme (CAP) Business Support Scheme, to be administered by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) is to help lessen the effects of the economic crisis, like no other, caused by the pandemic.

It would provide additional capital for business expansion to meet the demand for respiratory illness-related goods and services.

At a ceremony at the Jubilee House, President Akufo-Addo said the flu-like virus had exacted a huge toll on world economies, including that of Ghana -job losses, reduced productivity, and steep decline of revenue for government, businesses, households and individuals.

“We are determined to protect as many jobs as possible and to help as many businesses as possible get back on their feet.”

Out of the amount earmarked for the scheme, GH¢600 million would be disbursed as loans to MSMEs with a one-year moratorium and a two-year payment period with three per cent interest.

Additionally, selected banks that would participate in the programme would provide a negotiated counterpart funding to the tune of GH¢400 million to be disbursed under the scheme, President Akufo-Addo said.

Mr Eyison said: “At this stage when we are in the survival mood any little help should be above to cushion our members to keep their heads above water while we look for other opportunities ahead.”

Meanwhile, the Director in Charge of Department of Quality and Assurance, Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Alex Boakye, said a proposal on how the tourism sector can be supported in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic has been submitted to cabinet.

He told Francis Doku that the stakeholders in the tourism sector are optimistic that the proposal will be accepted and approved by government.

He explained that although the government has made available GHS1 billion stimulus package there is a need to adopt a special allocation for the tourism sector due to the role that sector plays in the economy.

“We have presented [the proposal] to government,” he said adding that, “We are hopeful that the proposal for the tourism sector will be accepted.”

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