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Ghana Tourism Authority urges industry players to pay 1% tourism levy


The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has begun a two week monitoring and evaluation exercise on the one percent tourism levy on tourism operators in the northern region.

Operators in the tourism sector in the region including hoteliers, car rental operators, catering service providers and hostels are expected to cooperate with the monitoring team for the good of the industry.

The monitoring team during its stay in the region will register the informal sector players such as drinking spots and restaurants under the fund to enable them collect the levy.

In addition, the team will also visit registered operators to have firsthand information on how they are calculating the one percent levy out of their businesses, how the collection process is going on and the payment to the fund.

Faced with an under-resourced tourism sector and determined to raise adequate revenue to ensure growth in the industry, the government was compelled to act by setting up the Tourism Development Fund.

To boost the sector in Ghana, parliament passed legislation called Act 817 in 2011 which preceded the establishment of the tourism development fund with seed money.

The fund which started operating in 2012 had up to March 2015 raised 20 million Ghana cedis to support tourism operators in the country.

Briefing the media in Tamale, the Project Manager of the Tourism Development Fund Secretariat at the Ghana Tourism Authority, Raymond Asamoah Kwarfo told journalists that countries such as South Africa, Eritrea and Kenya depend a lot on tourism which is not the case in Ghana.

He explained that the fund will be used to finance tourism and tourism related activities in Ghana such as organizing training, establishing schools and developing tourist sites.

According to Mr. Kwarfo, instead of operators in the industry going for loans from banks, managers are considering lending them money to boost their businesses.

Mr. Kwarfo also reassured operators that the monitoring team was not in the region to witch hunt but will nonetheless apply sanctions to operators he described as recalcitrant.

The operation of the fund Mr Kwarfo said, was different from any other fund because it has its own account and the money is being controlled by a board.

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