The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) on Monday embarked on an enforcement exercise to close down tourism facilities which have failed to adhere to the monthly payment of the 1% tourism levy in Accra.
The week-long exercise in Accra would cover over 60 facilities which have failed to pay the one per cent tourism levy to the GTA.
The exercise would check the quality standards of services of the tourism facilities.
GTA is mandated by law under the Tourism Act, 2011 (Act 817) and (LI 2185) to collect one per cent 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.
The levy would be used for the development of tourism facilities and everything related to tourism.
The enforcement team ‒ made up of the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of GTA, the Greater Accra Regional GTA Director, the fund manager, the Ghana Police Service and other members from the enforcement unit ‒ has so far visited four facilities like Country Kitchen at Osu, Enda Foods inside the Accra Mall, The Oak Plaza at East Airport and MJ 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 and MJ Grand Hotel owed GH¢23, 080, but upon arrival of the team, all the three facilities had issued cheques to effect payment.
Ekow Sampson, Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Operations, GTA, said in recent times most tourism facilities across the country have failed to adhere to the payment of the levy to the authority as charged on patrons of their facilities.
According to him, unfortunately all these facilities collect the funds from their patrons but fail to pay back to the development fund.
He said there was the urgent need to ensure that facilities pay their due to the GTA in order to enable it to work effectively.
On the issue of maintaining quality standards, Mr. Sampson stated that most of these facilities tend to be the first port of call for visitors or tourists, and as such, they must always be of good standards as stated in the GTA’s regulation.