Mrs Gladys Osei Bennett, Chief Executive Officer of Glamossay Hotel at Abesim near Sunyani in the Bono Region, has said the hospitality industry is suffocating under loads of taxes and levies and needs an urgent resuscitation from Government.
She said currently, the hospitality industries have financial obligations with over 20 institutions as well as the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies based on your geographical location.
The institutions includes the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Tourism Authority, Food and Drugs Authority, Environmental Protection Agency, Immigration Service, Registrar General Department, Ghana National Fire Service, and the District Assemblies.
Others are the Electricity Company of Ghana and Ghana Water Company Limited.
Mrs Bennett, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the regular significant increment in utility bills is also one of the main reasons accounting for the rise in the cost of doing business in the industry, adding that utility bills alone are take up to 50 per cent of the cost of operations.
“As hotels, we use water and electricity commercially; and the current situation where we have been loaded with regular increment has not helped pushing many hotels into difficult waters as utilities bills constitutes over 50 per cent of the cost of operation,” she said.
She said in view of the operational cost and heavy taxes and levies hospitality operators are forced to pass it on to the consumer which is making it expensive, stressing we need urgent support if not the industry may soon collapse.
“We want government to intervene to mitigate the more than 20 financial obligations hotel owners have to pay to government organizations and agencies,” Mrs Bennett said.
The CEO of Glamossay Hotel also urged government to grant incentives in the form of tax exemptions to operators in the hotel and hospitality industry.
She said tax exemptions on imported materials such as refrigerators, air conditioners, carpets, kitchen equipment, vehicle and linen among others, required for their establishment and smooth operations, would be of great relief to players in the industry.
The CEO of Glamossay Hotel said such exemptions would boost investment in the sector through construction, upgrading and refurbishment among others.
Mrs Bennett appealed to government also to reduce the sector’s corporate tax rate, whilst considering synchronization of the taxes and levies.
“It should be lowered for the businesses because we are forced to charge high prices when providing services in a hotel. So I think it is something that should be looked at,” the CEO of Glamossay Hotel said.