Lawrencia Esi Annan / Bright Ofori Asiamah GNA
Takoradi, Dec. 6, GNA - A total of 115 tourism facilities in the Western and Western North Regions owe the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) GH¢489, 000.00 in levies.
Mr Prince Yaw Essah, Fund Administrator Tourism Development Fund, made this known during a press conference to announce the intension of the Authority to embark on a two- day enforcement exercise for the payment of the 1 per cent tourism levy and quality standards in the region.
He said the exercise would check the quality standards of services of the tourism facilities, and urged all operators of tourism establishments to pay the levy and also to make sure their facilities were in good condition.
Mr Essah advised all tourism facilities to ensure payment of all outstanding arrears in full by 5th December, 2019 to avoid a fine of not less than 500 penalty units and not more than 1,000 penalty units.
The Western Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority ,Mr. George Nkrumah Ansere said his outfit was mandated by law under the Tourism Act, 2011 (Act 817) and (LI 2185) to collect 1% tourism levy from all tourism plants including Hotels, Guest Houses, Serviced apartments, Hostels, lodges, Restaurants, Traditional catering establishment (chop bars), drinking bars, Travel and Tour Agencies among others.
Mr. Ansere explained that, the one percent levy was to be used for the development of tourism facilities and everything related to tourism, noting that, though it was not enough, it was a very good initiative.
He expressed concern about the fact that some tourism facilities were not paying their levies.
Mr Ansere warned "we are not going to entertain such behaviours anymore because we have tried everything possible to make them understand the importance of these monies and the need to pay but all efforts to make them understand have proved futile therefore the need for this enforcement exercise".