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Hotel owners appeal to government not to withdraw tax concessions

The Ghana Hotels Association, has appealed to Government to as matter of urgency reconsider its decision on the withdrawal of tax concession on the hotel industry.

The National President of the Association, Mr Herbert Acquaye, made the appeal during the Association’s first ever National Executive Council Meeting held in Bolgatanga on Thursday.

The meeting had as its theme: ”Promoting Best Practices in Ghana‘s Hotels”.

He said the Association was shocked to hear government’s announcement in the 2011 Budget that it was withdrawing the tax concessions provided under the Legislative Instrument 1817.

“Since 2007 our Industry have enjoyed tax concessions for certain inputs imported into the country for hotel development. These concessions were provided to encourage the industry to grow whilst offering competitive room rates to our customers,” he said.

The National President stressed that the refusal of government to reconsider its decision on the withdrawal of the concession would ultimately defeat Government’s policy of creating more jobs since the hotel industry provided employment to a greater number of people in Ghana.

He stressed that the withdrawal would lead to low investment as a result of high cost of development, which would invariably push some hoteliers to convert their hotels to more attractive businesses.

“It will also lead to Ghana being perceived as a high price destination and make the industry unattractive”.

He further expressed concern about rising energy cost and its multiply effects and said it was one of the major challenges facing the industry and urged the Government to provide support in exploring the use of alternative and renewable energy sources.

He indicated that the Association was also prepared to work with donor agencies, which would want to augment the support the Association would get from Government.

He said the objective of the Association was to train management and staff within the industry to be able to meet international standards and said it was very crucial with the exploration of oil in Ghana.

The Regional Chairman of the Association, Alhaji Fuseini Seidu, said one of the major problems confronting the industry in the Region was the delay of payment of hotel bills by Government’s departments and said this was seriously affecting the industry in the Region.

He observed that the over taxation of the industry by the Ghana Revenue Authority and inadequate training of staff in the industry, were challenges and called on the management of hotels and the National Hotel Association to help to provide training for staff in the industry.

Source: GNA

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