The Ghana Tourism Authority says the One percent Tourism Levy is in arrears to the tune of about GHC 1 Million, as some hospitality facilities are not meeting their payment obligations.
The Authority on December 9, 2019, closed down one restaurant in Accra during an exercise to ensure compliance with its standards and payment of the levy.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer in Charge of Operations at the Authority, Ekow Sampson, tells Citi Business News they will continue to embark on the enforcement exercise to strengthen the country’s tourism sector.
“Whatever it is, it is crucial that the levy is paid in order to develop tourism. But that’s not the only reason because the law states that at the end of each month companies have to go and pay just like VAT.”
Ekow Sampson meanwhile bemoaned the fact that they have to continuously chase institutions for payment of the levy.
Country Kitchen Restaurant closed down over non-payment of one percent tourism levy.
For defaulting in the payment of the one percent Tourism Levy and failing to comply with quality standards set by the Ghana Tourism Authority, Country Kitchen Restaurant in Accra got closed down yesterday.
The Authority says this is in line with LI 2185 of the Tourism Act. Per the Act, every registered hospitality entity must pay a one percent tourism levy to the government. This levy is to take care of disasters as well as other issues as they may arise in the tourism sector.
The GTA has often complained about challenges in the collection of the one percent tourism levy meant to improve Ghana’s tourism sector.
The Authority believes that poor records keeping by some members in the sector, under declaration of sales and non-availability of managers for some of these establishments among others, are to be blamed for the challenges.
It is for this reason that the Authority decided to embark on a nationwide enforcement exercise.
On the first day of a week’s tour of the Greater Accra Region, the team visited four restaurants and hotels, and in the process closed down Country Kitchen, located at Ringway Estates near Osu for failing to pay the one percent tourism levy despite several warnings from the Authority.
Deputy Chief Executive in charge of operations at the GTA, Ekow Sampson, explained that the levy is crucial for the sustenance and growth of Ghana’s tourism sector.
The other three hospitality facilities, Enda Restaurant, Oak Plaza and MJ Grand Hotel, instantly issued cheques to clear their outstanding arrears immediately.
The Tourism Authority will spend the whole week visiting various hotels, restaurants and tourist sites to ensure they have fully complied with its standards.