Gambian Tour Operators and Hoteliers said Sunday the hospitality industry risks crumbling if the Government and the development partners fail to intervene to save it from collapsing.
They emphasized the need for financial institutions to restructure all existing loans and overdrafts extend moratorium of 12 months and suspend interest on all facilities to help them overcome their liquidity challenges and as a stimulus to prevent them from collapse.
The Gambia Hoteliers Association and the Tourism and Travel Association of The Gambia made this statement in a press release issued on Sunday amid the coronavirus pandemic.
They also called on government to provide financing in the form of low interest loans to facilitate their operations during post Covid-19.
On Taxes, they said government as a member of The African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) should quickly review and adopt the ATAF guideline to the response measures African countries can consider implementing to ease the burden of the pandemic on taxpayers and to ensure business continuity.
On Employee Support, the Associations said they are cognizant of the negative consequences and in particular the social impact of COVID-19 would have in the employees laid off, and are therefore calling on Government to take care of salaries for a minimum period of five months(from April).
They added: “Government to implore on Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation to pay workers part of their contributions for the sake of assisting the affected persons.”
The two associations issued the press release after the UNDP commissioned a rapid assessment study on the impact of Covid-19 on the Tourism and Related Sectors through GBOS, for their pro-activeness and resolve to support their employees, starting with the informal sector.
On Licensing and Municipality Rates, the Associations demand GTBoard to give concessions to tourism establishments through introduction of waiver of operational licenses. They further called on Government to implore on Municipalities to also give concessions for 2020/2021 calendar year.