The Car Rental Association of Ghana (CRAG) has held a forum on its role in promoting and driving the country’s tourism.
The forum was to engage stakeholders within and affiliated to the car rental service to discuss way by which the Association could enhance its services for the growth of the tourism industry. The stakeholders who converged at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra were made up of players from the association, insurance, banks, car dealers and the media.
The Forum which was consultative in style also solicited ideas on effective restructuring of the association’s membership. In a presentation, President of CRAG, Seth Yeboah Ocran indicated that this is key to bringing all operators under the umbrella of the Association. ‘’We are embarking on a national membership drive starting from Accra and after reorganizing the members in the capital we will activate the regional membership drive until all operators who meet the minimum requirements for both Ghana Tourism Authority and CRAG are brought on board,’’ Mr. Ocran said.
The occasion was also used to discuss the needs and challenges of the association and ideas were sought on how they could be addressed. Key among them was the acquisition of a Secretariat to regularize the operations of the association, to which financial commitment were made by participants at the Forum.
There was also a discourse on how banks could provide CRAG members competitive financial assistance that eases the burden of loan acquisition and insurance companies providing affordable insurance.
Mr. Ocran said that this will ensure that more people are able to patronize car rental services. ‘’ Renting a car is very high in terms of cost and if we are able to get better financing, if we are able to get reduced insurance premiums, if we are able to get fast and reliable maintenance cost to reduce the time a vehicle spends at the workshop, all these could reduce our rates. So we are going to engage the various stakeholders to ensure that we get reduced rates for the services in order to promote domestic tourism.‘’ I believe that once the indigenes can move freely to our tour sites and it is affordable, you could speak to a friend somewhere outside Ghana and say that I have a wonderful place to take you and all that and that can only be done if it is affordable.’’
Executive Chairman of the Eurostar Global Limousines Oscar Yao Doe suggested to the association to lobby government to provide tax exemption for cars that are imported to be used for renting purposes. According to him, government must be made to ‘’appreciate and understand that car rental businesses can be used as a huge tool for enhancing domestic tourism and projecting the country as a preferred tourist destination.’’
He opined that the lack of recognition of the importance of car rental business to the economy of Ghana does not encourage entrepreneurs to go into it as a profitable venture. He added that with favourable policies and regulations the industry could produce millionaires while helping to increase employment and creating wealth for many.
Click to view the images here CRAG Breakfast meeting
Deliberations also centered on ensuring safety on roads and suggestions were made to incorporate the road safety campaigns into corporate social responsibility initiatives of each member car rental company.
The Forum is the maiden of a series of action plans earmarked by CRAG to engage stakeholders on ensuring that it becomes an effective functional body that contributes significantly to the economy through its agenda to drive tourism. The Association hopes to meet policymakers in their next engagement to consider some proposals that could help their operations. CRAG is also expected to launch its own website in the coming days.