The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) on Monday embarked on an enforcement exercise to close down tourism facilities that have failed to adhere to the monthly payment of the one percent tourism levy in Accra.
The week long exercise in Accra which would cover over 60 facilities was also to check the quality standards of these facilities. Meanwhile similar exercises have been embarked on in the Ashanti and Western Regions earlier.
The enforcement team made up of the Deputy Chief Executive Officer GTA, the Greater Accra Regional GTA director, the Fund Manager, the Ghana Police Service and other members from the enforcement unit visited four facilities including Country Kitchen in Osu, Enda Foods inside the Accra Mall, The Oak Plaza at East Airport, and M J Grand Hotel.
At country Kitchen, the facility was closed down for owing an amount of GH¢8,232.60. Enda Foods owed GH¢72, 318.38, Oak Plaza Hotel owed GH¢33, 835.13 and MJ Grand Hotel owed GH¢23, 080.51 but upon arrival of the team all three facilities had issued cheques to effect payment.
Mr Ekow Sampson, Deputy Chief Executive Officer in Charge of Operations, GTA said in recent times most tourism facilities across the country had failed to adhere to the payment of the levy to the Authority as charged on patrons of their facilities.
He said unfortunately all these facilities collect the funds from their patrons but fail to pay back to the development fund.
Mr Sampson said there was the urgent need to ensure that facilities pay their due to the Authority in order to enable it to work effectively, saying every registered tourism establishment must by the GTA’s Act pay a monthly one percent levy.
“The Year of Return has been achieved through sustained campaigns backed by the tourism levy. The levy is also used to develop and sustain the industry.”
Also on the issue of maintaining quality standards he noted that most of these facilities tend to be the first point of call for visitors or tourist and as such they must always be of good standards as stated in the GTA’s regulation.
He however commended all the facilities visited for maintaining quality standards, encouraging others that owe the fund to as a matter of urgency make payment before their facility is closed down.