A total of 145 Registered and Licensed Tourism Enterprises operating in Accra owe the Tourism Development Fund GHC 678, 856.15 as at December 2021.
The enterprises - rendering services of accommodation and food and beverages and entertainment entities defaulted in the payment of the tourism levy of one per cent monthly to the Fund mandated by the Tourism Act, 2011, Act 817.
The one per cent levy, which is guaranteed under Legislative Instruments (LI) 2238 and 2239, is charged on bills as one patronises hospitality related enterprises such as hotels, clubs, guest houses, lodges and hostels.
Authorities of the Fund made this known to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during a debt recovery exercise undertaken jointly by the Fund and Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA).
Mrs Akosua Ankrah, Acting Project Officer, Tourism Development Fund, said the exercise was a continuation of what they had started last year to recover all arrears, adding that they had recovered GHC50,000 from an enterprise in December 2021.
"For now, our interest is in the outstanding arrears. We will visit them in the course of the year for 2022 and as they are paying the outstanding, they are paying for the main year," she said.
The Acting Project Officer said the Fund managers also audited the books of the enterprises to know the legitimate amount they ought to pay.
" We do audit to ensure whatever people pay the right amount. Those who decline to make available their documents had their facilities locked," she added.
The recovery team started the exercise on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022.
It visited about 24 tourism enterprises as of January 18, 2022, where one food and beverage facility and a hotel were locked for non-submission of documents for auditing and non-payment of arrears since 2019.
Mr Jones Nelson, Head of Corporate Affairs, Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), said they would continue with the exercise until all defaulters paid their taxes.
He said the Authority was clamping down on tourism facilities operating without registration and license across the country.