GTA descends on 3 low standard, defaulting tourism facilities

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) on Tuesday closed down three facilities for not meeting the tourism standards and default in the payment of the one per cent tourism levy.

The facilities are Hill View Guest Centre, Suma Court Hotel Limited and Tayiba Bar and Grill.

The Head of Corporate Affairs of GTA, Mr Jones Aruna Nelson, led officials of his outfit in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Tourism Development Fund to carry out the exercise with support from the Ghana Police Service.

He said GTA was mandated by law under the Tourism Act, 2011 (Act 817) and (LI 2185) to collect one per cent tourism levy from all tourism plants including hotels, guest houses, serviced apartments, hostels, lodges, restaurants, traditional catering establishment (chop bars), drinking bars, Travel and Tour Agencies among others.

He said the exercise which was a nationwide exercise was to caution tourism operators to conform to standards and ensure payment of the one per cent levy stipulated under the law.

Mr Nelson explained that, the one per cent levy was to be used for the development of tourism facilities and everything related to tourism.

He expressed concern about the fact that some tourism facilities were not paying their levies.

Mr Nelson urged all operators of tourism establishments to pay the levy and also ensured their facilities were in good condition.

The Acting Project Officer of Tourism Department Fund, Miss AkosuaAnkrah, said a total of GHc 678,856.15 were owed by some establishments in the Accra metropolis as at December last year.

She said those establishments had been given payment warrants to make payments as far back as June last year, but until now such payments had not been made.

She advised all tourism facilities to ensure payment of all outstanding arrears in full with immediate effect to avoid a fine or their establishments from being closed down.

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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