Business News of 2014-01-31

GTA to sensitise agencies on tourism levy regulations

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) is to organise a sensitisation programme on the Tourism Levy Regulation for tour companies car rental and agencies, travel agencies.
This would be followed by the registration of all the agencies for the collection of the one per cent tourism levy to help grow the Tourism Development Fund.
The levy, which was introduced and implemented in 2012, is an Act of Parliament that compels private tourism sector operators in the country to pay monthly tax to the GTA for tourism development.
This was made known by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, during the inauguration of a six-member executive of the Car Rentals Association of Ghana (CRAG) in Accra Thursday.
She stressed the need for all to co-operate and make the implementation of the levy a success as it would help in the development of tourism in Ghana.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare called for a collective effort to help flush out illegal car rental services in the country.
This, when done, she said, would help to ensure security and safety for all tourists in the country and also bring professionalism in the car rental business.
She said car rental agencies provided transport for the mobility of tourists, hence the need for them to ensure safety, security and comfort of tourists in the country.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare also advised the new executive members to initiate a training programme that would help to update the knowledge of the car rental drivers.
President of CRAG
In his address, the new President of the CRAG, Mr Paul Goldwater Agyakwa, said it was unfortunate the car rental business in the country was usually underestimated.
Therefore, he said, one of the objectives of the new administration was to increase the visibility of the CRAG in the country and beyond.
Challenges of CRAG
In order for the CRAG to achieve its full potential, Mr Agyakwa called for a clampdown on illegal car rental operators in the country.
He said their activities were undermining national tourism development and economic growth, adding that the public and tourists should always insist on a GTA licence whenever they needed a car rental service.
On credit facilities, Mr Agyakwa said it was only fair that the government would provide some support to the association as it also contributed its quota to the national economy.
“The agriculture sector enjoys support from EDAIF, the road and transport sector benefits from the road fund. It would be fair that we also enjoy some support through the GTA to help drive tourism,” he said.
He also appealed for the implementation of the Tourism Act of 2011 and the Customs Harmonised Code that made it possible for tourism companies to enjoy a concession of up to 50 per cent on all imports.
The way forward
Mr Agyakwa said the new administration would embark on training courses in safety on the roads, security of vehicles and customers, customer care and healthy lifestyle courses for its members.
He, therefore, appealed for unity within the membership of the association in order to become a formidable force to drive the tourism sector of the country.
Source: graphic.com
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