Pepease (E/R), Aug 19, GNA - The Ghana Hotels Association has appealed to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to review the 5% revenue authority tax on hotels and release the members of the multiple taxes imposed on them.
They said the soaring costs of maintenance of their hotels was affecting their operations and the effective running of the hospitality industry in the country.
The National President of the Association, Mr Herbert Acquaye, made the appeal at the third National Executive Council meeting of the Association at Kwahu Pepease.
Under the theme: “Promoting good governance in hotels”, Mr Acquaye appealed for the release of the one percent tourism development fund to members of the Association for the regular maintenance of their hotels.
Mr Acquaye said the Association was finding it difficult to get qualified personnel to run the hospitality industry due to the collapse of the Hotel, Catering and Tourism Training Institute (HOTCATT) and called on members of the Association to establish a training institute to train personnel to work at the hotels.
In an address read on behalf of the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Victor Smith, he said tourism had become a highly competitive social, economic and environmental activity in both developed and developing countries.
He said government would not spare any effort at using it as a vehicle for poverty reduction.
Mr Smith said the industry has the economic potential and contributes an average of six percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), making it the fourth highest foreign exchange earner for the country.
The Regional Minister urged the Association to partner government to weed out those offering sub standard services that could bring the image of the industry into disrepute.
In her welcome address, the Eastern Regional chairperson of the Association, Mrs Enyonam Offei, said the Region has a lot of tourist sites and urged members to introduce those sites to their guests and help enhance the development of the tourism industry in the country.
She said the Association which was formed in 1975 currently has 800 members with 77 of them in the Eastern Region and appealed to non members to join the Association to contribute towards the development of the industry.
Nana Adjei Twene, the Dwantoafohene of the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, advised members of the Association to cooperate with the Police and give them the needed information to arrest armed robbers and drug peddlers who lodge at their hotels.