The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in Tema is closing down tourism facilities in the enclave for not paying the obligatory tourism levy.
The nationwide exercise is in line with the Tourism Act, which seeks to promote safety and security in the industry.
The Tourism Levy stipulated in the Tourism Act 817 of 2011 went into the Tourism Development Fund and meant to provide the requisite resources for the sustainable development of the tourism industry in Ghana.
Some facilities and establishments after several notices had refused to pay the levies they accumulate from their clients into designated bank accounts as required.
This necessitated the move by the GTA to embark on an exercise dubbed “100 per cent payment or closure” to retrieve full payments of these levies and failure to comply led to an outright closure.
In Tema, over 350 registered hospitality facilities were expected to pay the one per cent levy monthly; whiles 30 of such facilities within Tema were in arrears of over GH?109,000.00.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during the exercise, Mr Reginald Reindorf Malm, a Principal Quality Assurance Officer, Ghana Tourism Authority, said the enforcement of the levy was in line with the Tourism Act 817 and the Tourism Legislation Instrument (LI) 2185.
“It is very evident that some the businesses are intentionally or blatantly refusing to do payment of the levy which is meant ultimately to improve the tourism sector,” he said.
According to him, some hospitality facilities after receiving notices complied and had already paid as expected, adding that his outfit would ensure strict compliance in Tema and its environs.
While commending some hotels in Tema for adhering to their payment obligations, he warned others to adhere to the Tourism Act as any delays in payments could lead to outright closure of their facilities.
Other facilities issued checks to clear their outstanding arrears immediately whiles others were given ultimatum to so.
Three facilities were closed down in Tema and 75 per cent of the arrears was recovered.
Ghana | GNA