Management of the plush Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City Accra is to lay off about 85% of staff as the novel Coronavirus pandemic has had a negative impact on their business.
The hotel, in addition, will close down four floors of its multi-storey building with the aim of cutting down its operational cost.
According to Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, for a huge hotel like Kempinski to take such a decision, it really tells us that we are in a very difficult moment.
“For a hotel like Kempinski which has about 400 workers, they are letting 340 go home. They are closing about four floors of that hotel…it is a sobering moment… we do get panic attacks as we wake up thinking of how best to do it,” he said on the floor of Parliament late Friday night.
Mr Ofori-Atta disclosed that some players within the hospitality industry are going through difficult times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and occupancy rate for them has dropped by 5% to 20%.
“Some companies are laying off up to 90% of their employees… And there are issues of job losses that we have to contend with… It is time to look at unemployment benefits,” he said.
He further announced to parliamentarians that the Government of Ghana will soon roll out new strategies to support struggling businesses. The new initiative is dubbed COVID Care and Re-Vitalisation of Enterprises Programme.
He noted that the new programme will among other things ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as micro-small scale institutions and big industries, get some relief.