Business News of 2014-03-03

GTA enforces BoG’s directives on business transactions

An exercise has been embarked on by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) to ensure that hotels in the country are complying with the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG) current directives on business transactions in the country’s currency.

Unexpected visits by officials of the GTA revealed that most of the hotels had displayed their exchange rates in cedis and those who had not presented theirs in cedis were asked to do so.

Others also presented documents which were in conformity with the new directives and the agreement in payment of the tourism levy.

Ten hotels: Ellking Hotel, Mensvic hotel, Ange Hill hotel, Royal Richester, Fiesta Royal, Nogahill, Charleston, Crystal Palm, Rest Inn and Sunlodge hotel, all in Accra, have been visited.

Challenges

Most of the hotels had similar challenges with regard to the new directives in doing business, especially with customers who check in late at night and do not have the country’s currency.

This was a challenge because an in-built forex bureau facility is not available in most of the hotels to aid customers to transact business in cedis in such situations.

According to the General Manager of Ange Hill hotel, Mr Osei Aboagye, they face difficulties when customers come at night and do not have cedis on them.

The General Manager of Royal Richester hotel, Nana Tuffour Antwi, said his outfit had been doing business in cedis and not in dollars even before the release of the new directives and as such they were not facing any challenges in its enforcement.

GTA

The Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Mr Charles Osei Bonsu, said almost all the hotels were complying with the new directives and the few challenges that had emerged could be resolved by the hotel operators.

Tourism Levy

The tourism levy, which was introduced and implemented in 2012, is an Act of Parliament to compel private tourism sector operators to pay monthly tax to the GTA tourism development account with the adb.

The levy demands the collection of one per cent tourism levy from the private operators to help develop the tourism industry.

Mr Osei Bonsu stressed the need for hotel operators to collect the levy and make payment at the appropriate time to avoid any penalty.