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GHTA Makes Appeal for Government Assistance for Hotel & Tourism Sector


St. George’s Grenada W.I.—March 18th, 2020- The Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, the Honorable Minister Modeste-Curwen and the Chairman of GTA, Mrs. Brenda Hood met with the GHTA Board of Directors to discuss economic challenges facing the Grenadian hotel and tourism sector amid the global downturn in travel resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

An emergency board meeting was held on Friday, March 17th,
2020 at Sandals Resort to discuss the current state of affairs.  Forward bookings have been grounded to a
virtual halt and cancellations are hitting the industry hard.  Jerry Rappaport, President of the Grenada
Hotel and Tourism Association, on behalf of the association, therefore, made an
appeal to government for assistance. Some of the requests noted were for better
communication from government, a moratorium on the collection of VAT,
assistance to keep businesses afloat and to maintain staff. Another notable
request was for government to approach banks on the deferment of mortgages and
loans for both businesses and employees.

Other members echoed those concerns and expressed the urgency to alleviate the stress on both businesses and staff. Hoteliers are not only challenged by the looming VAT day but currently face dire cashflow stemming from the issuance of refunds due to cancellations. Many restaurants have already closed due to lack of tourists on the island.

NEXT STEPS

Minister Modeste-Curwen said that the government is aware of the
needs of the hotel and tourism sector and are actively engaged in addressing
those concerns.  These include:

  • The issuance of both grants and loans to assist the hospitality and tourism sector
  • An ongoing discussion with banks to defer mortgages and loans
  • An ongoing discussion with NIS to lessen the financial burden on staff
  • The request to the Prime Minister for a moratorium on the collection of VAT
  • The creation of a tourism committee for better information sharing
  • The commencement of weekly meetings among the GHTA, GTA and Ministry of Tourism

The GHTA left the meeting with the resolve that a decision would
be made addressing their concerns by the end of the week and that the public
and private sector would continue to work closer together to navigate through
this tumultuous economic crisis.





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