There were mixed outcomes for the business community during the Easter festivities in Kwahu, with hotel operators being among the gainers on the occasion and hawkers constituting the disappointed lot.
The celebration of Easter in Kwahu normally comes with a business boom, as a large number of Kwahu citizens and visitors climb the Kwahu Mountains to celebrate the occasion. Whereas many business operators complained of low patronage due to lack of money this year, others were thankful to God for good business.
As usual, hotel operators led the pack of gainers in business, as many hotels in Nkawkaw and towns on the Kwahu Ridge were fully booked, days before the Easter festivities.
In keeping to practice during Easter, many of the hotel operators increased their rates by at least 100 per cent for a room.
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Hotel rooms that were on ordinary days rented for GH¢40.00, for instance, went for between GH¢80.00 and GH¢100.
Another practice, which was a novelty, was the hotel operators’ requirement for one to book a room for the entire period of Easter.
Samuel Ahenkora had travelled from Accra to Atibie last Friday for the paragliding festival but he abandoned his desire to stay overnight because he could not afford a hotel accommodation offer of GH¢500.00 for three days.
Under the circumstance, many visitors who had wished to stay longer for the Easter festivities had to revise their notes; either because they could not get hotel accommodation or they could not afford the package on offer.
Apart from hoteliers, taxi drivers were also in good business, as patronage was very high, given the large number of people who visited Kwahu.
Many of them admitted during interactions that business had been very good and they wished the Easter festivities would continue for a longer time.
“Well, we cannot complain. At least, things are not bad. But it will not stay like this for long, so I have to be content with what I have,” Kwame Ofosu said.
Bars were also highly patronised, as many people stormed the spots to celebrate the occasion in a drinking spree.
Restaurants and ‘’chop bar” operators did not fare badly, given the relatively high patronage of their services.
According to Kwame, a dealer in poultry, business was good but not comparable to the margins of last year’s Easter.
With one fowl selling at GH¢20.00, not many people could, perhaps, afford Kwame’s services, but a probable option in bat meat, a prized delicacy of Kwahus, was not on offer at the market.
Dealers in bat meat explained that this period was the off season for the small nocturnal flying mammals, and so bat meat was not available on the market.
Unlike the gainers in the Easter business, street hawkers who sold bread, tiger nuts and soft drinks at the Nkawkaw bypass and the new lorry station reported of bad sales.
Between 5:00a.m. and 10:00pm, the hawkers criss-crossed the Accra-Kumasi Highway, running after buses and other vehicles that stopped at the bypass to sell their items.
According to Sarah and Lizzy, both bread sellers, business was better last year than this year, and the difference is the number of people visiting for Easter.
But Nana Ama, another bread seller, had a pertinent concern beyond bad business that she had been trying to address without success.
“The running makes us so tired that when we get home, we cannot do ‘tonga’,” she said in a frank tone, as her colleagues concurred with a loud applause’’.