Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hotel Price Gouging in Ghana Ahead of Cup

A warning for anyone traveling to Ghana for the Cup of Nations: Hotel room prices are going through the roof ahead of next week's tournament in Ghana. And not many people are happy about it.

Seems that prices for hotel rooms all over the country have doubled or tripled as the tournament's opening creeps up.

Ghana is bracing for a huge invasion by football fans, officials and journalists but many of them will find hotels either fully booked or too expensive. Sleeping bag, anyone?

For instance, the rate for a standard room at one hotel in the capital, Accra, has exploded from US$140 to US$300.

A lodge which normally charges US$80 per night is now asking US$230 for the same facility during the Nations Cup period.

"We appreciate that demand is high because of the football, but is that a reason to exploit us?" asked one Dutch visitor who now intends to cut short his stay from three to two weeks.

The unhappy Dutchman, who declined to be named, attacked 'greedy hotel owners' for stretching the conventional laws of supply and demand to 'unacceptable levels.'

Obed Kwame Bioh, Guest Service Manager at Alisa Hotel in the capital, Accra, denied that profiteering was taking place.

Bioh told BBC Sport that while he could not speak for the other hotels, it is standard procedure for hotels to change their prices 'based on what the year ahead of them looks like.'

Bioh said: "At Alisa, we're not doing anything extraordinary. Our rates are much better and much cheaper but, of course, other hotels will have to speak for themselves.

"We're not here just to make money off people. The country's reputation is at stake so at the end of the season, everybody has to account for what they have done."

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