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28.10.2005 Business & Finance

Hoteliers urge Tourist Board to review fees

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Keta, Oct.28, GNA - The Ghana Hoteliers Association (GHA) has appealed to the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) to review the 400 per cent increase in the registration fees for new hotels.

They said the increase for all categories of hotels was arbitrary and a disincentive to the hospitality industry.

The association said "the increase from one million cedis to five million cedis for hotels up to 10 rooms, 1.5 million cedis to seven million cedis for 11 to 20 rooms hotels and the increase from five million to 25 million cedis for three star 10 room capacity hotels is a discouragement for potential investors interested in the hospitality industry."

Nana Adjei Twinin, President of the association and proprietor of the Saint Mac-Dic Hotel, Koforidua made the appeal at the association's Executive Council fourth quarterly meeting on Thursday at Keta. He said success of the industry depended on planning and product development to the trend on the global market; therefore, the Government should assist the industry with tax incentives, reliefs and technical assistance to compete on the global market.

The President of the association, appealed to the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) to liaise with the Municipal and District assemblies to acquire land for investors to construct hotels in view of the region's high potential in tourism.

Nana Twinin called on the Government to consider assisting the association under the Venture Capital Fund to enhance their preparations towards the African Cup of Nations tournament to be held in Ghana in 2008, other international conferences scheduled for Ghana next year to meet the standards of hotels within ECOWAS.

He said the performance enhancement-training programme for members had been encouraging and the association was looking for funds to continue with such programmes that would include HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns. Mr Charles Obeng, Volta Regional Manager of GTB, commended the association for the improved standard of hotels in the Region. He said out of the 70 registered hotels in the region, 50 were qualified members of the association and only two of them failed to meet the GTB licensing criteria.

Mr Kwabena Danquah, Volta Regional Chairman of the association, said the Region's tourist potential had increased with the completion of the land reclamation works within the Keta area that should be utilised by hoteliers.