Tourism levy hits Ghc7m

Tue, 4 Nov 2014 Source: Daily Guide

The tourism levy, which was introduced in Ghana in October 2012, has so far yielded about GH¢7 million, Sampson Donkor, the Acting Deputy Executive Director of the Ghana Tourist Authority (Finance and Administration) in the Central Region, has stated.

Speaking during the 2014 Central Regional Tourism Awards Night at Elmina in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) Municipality over the weekend, Mr Donkor revealed that only 45 percent of the accommodation and catering enterprises, which were registered and certified to collect the levy had paid monies into the Fund.

The Acting Deputy Executive Director added that the remaining entities have not made any attempt to collect the levy, a situation which prompted them to embark on a nationwide sensitization exercise to reach out to the recalcitrant enterprises and encourage them to collect the levy.

Mr Donkor said plans were underway to train staff of the Ghana Tourism Board to undertake monitoring and verification exercise in the country to assess payments and weed out the recalcitrant enterprises, adding that very soon the law would catch up with those who were violating the tourism levy regulations.

He called for immediate steps to rejuvenate the famous tourist attractions in the region.

The Acting Regional Manager, Diana Adu Owusu, cited unsatisfactory services and low standards at some tourism plants as major challenges in the industry and called for measures to reduce the canker.

She implored service providers to improve their service delivery to meet international standards through the use of motivated and qualified professionals.

The Regional President of Hotels Association, Benjamin Aidoo, stated that the sector generated foreign currency as well as jobs for local people and therefore called for more support for the industry.

He mentioned some of the problems confronting the association as environmental degradation resulting from uncontrolled sand winning at the ocean fronts, slow response of agencies to security issues, open defecation at the beach and multiple taxes.

Central Regional Minister, Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, reiterated government’s commitment to improving the deplorable roads leading to the various tourist sites in the region.

He disclosed that plans were underway to meet the security agencies in the region to arrest people, who undertake sand winning activities.

In all, 20 enterprises, including Fair Hill Guest House, Biriwa Beach, Pempemsie, were awarded while Kakum National Park received the Tourist Site of the Year award.

Coconut Grove was adjudged the Hotel of the Year.

Source: Daily Guide