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Operators of the hospitality industry in Imo State have cried out to the state governor, Hope Uzodinma, to come to the aid of the industry lamenting that a good number of the hotels in the state are now on the verge of going into extinction as a result of numerous challenges.
Mr. Chima Chukwunyere who is the chairman of the association, who raised the alarm at a one day end of year party organised in Owerri listed some of the challenges to include high operational costs and poor security architecture.
According to Chukwunyere, the government must keep its word and hold a roundtable conversation to address the issue, since this is the only way the business can move forward.
‘The state government promised to have a round table meeting between the officials of the association and the governor which would enable them to intimate him with the teething challenges confronting the industry for possible solution,’ he said.
Chukwunyere appealed to government to put in place what he described as ‘Live Support’ in form of Tax Holidays for the industry to avoid many hotels going out of business in the state
He said: “many hotels in the state are on the verge of shutting down, so the government should provide life support to enable them to remain afloat in the business to save workers being thrown into the already saturated labour market”.
In a lecture entitled “Customer Relationship Management”, Benedict Wonah, Manager Lewis Villa Hotel Ltd, (Imo Airport) noted that hospitality is a service industry which plays host and entertains hosts, thereby carrying out rental services.
Earlier, the Imo State government said that it has internal mechanisms to strengthen the security architecture in the state’s hospitality industry.
Speaking at the occasion, the state Commissioner for Tourism, Chief Jerry Egemba said that the government had procured a carbon credit that would be made available to all registered hotels in the state to accelerate the provision of a conducive environment in the Tourism industry.