Officials from the Ashanti Regional office of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), have closed some hospitality facilities in the Region over default in payment of tourism levy.
Among the facilities closed during the two-day operation was the Crystal Rose Ambassador Hotel whose operational license was also withdrawn for an accumulated amount of GHS 12,473.74 in tourism levy.
Other facilities that suffered similar fate were Alice Tee Hotel, Diamond Hotel, Gisgo Catering Services, Summer Park, Pice Restaurant, Ashanti Paradise Hotel, Justice Hotel, Better Mum Guest House, and Kings Hotel.
Some of the facilities who were exempted from the exercise after making some payments of their debts are X5 Plus Pub and Restaurant, Sweet Roses Restaurant, Marbon Hotel, and Kitticilly Car Rentals.
Patrons of hospitality entities pay one per cent tourism levy, which is the key source of funding for the Tourism Development Fund (TDF) meant to diversify the resource base for financing the development of a sustainable tourism industry.
The accumulated debts by the facilities were discovered following an audit by the GTA monitoring team in line with section three of the Tourism (levy) Regulations, 2012 (L.I 2185).
It emerged that managers of the facilities had defaulted in payment of the one per cent tourism levy as per section (7) of the L.I.
Mr Fredrick Adjei-Rudolf, Ashanti Regional Director of GTA, briefing the media after the operation, said over 700 facilities in the region had been certified to collect and pay the levies to the government and that less than half of the number pay the levy.
“To be very honest with you I am not satisfied with the level of compliance and as long as I am in this region, I will make sure that everybody complies,” he assured.
He said compliance was the way to go to sustain the tourism industry for the benefit of all stakeholders and pledged his commitment to retrieve the monies.