The unwillingness by operators in the tourism industry to provide correct performance data on their activities undermined efforts of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) to convince government to provide the desired support for the sector’s development.
Mr Kwame Gyasi, Volta Regional Manager of the GTA, made the observation at the third National Executive Council Meeting of the Ghana Hotels Association at Denu.
It was under the theme; “The role of the Hotel Industry in the Collection of One Percent Tourism Development Fund Levy”.
Mr Gyasi impressed on the hoteliers and other tourism sector operators to overcome the fear that providing the required data would make government demand higher taxes from them and cut their revenues.
He explained that those data were necessary to convince government that the sector was worth investing in.
Mr Gyasi said though the West African tourism sector remained dynamic, it was now less competitive compared to the East and North African region where infrastructure were better developed and services less expensive.
West Africa, he said, receives just about three percent of the 55 million visitors that came to Africa in 2006, with Ghana, third largest destination in the sub-region, getting just about one percent of those visitors.
Mr Gyasi said despite the poor performance of the sector in Ghana, it contributed 6.7 percent of GDP in 2010.
He suggested that numerous hostel facilities in higher institutions be brought under the Ghana Hotels Association because of the similarity in the services they rendered.
That way those hostels could also contribute to the country’s tourism sector development in a fair and transparent manner.
He said several Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies had targeted the tourism sector operators in their bid to increase their internally generated funds without any clear understanding of the nature of those businesses.
Mr Gyasi appealed to the operators to cooperate with the collection of the one percent tourism development levy when it became operational.
Mr Herbert Acquaye, National President of the GHA, suggested to government to create a one-stop point for the payment of taxes in the sector instead of the current multiple taxes.
He called on the hotel training institutions to turn out standard manpower to match infrastructure development in the sector.
Mr Francis Dagba, Volta Regional Chairman of the GHA, called for special attention towards the development of the region’s vast tourism potentials.