The enforcement team of the Ghana Tourism Authority, (GTA) has closed down Country Kitchen at Osu over the non-payment of 1% tourism levy fee and the quality standard of the kitchen.
This came to light when officers from the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) embarked on an enforcement exercise over 1 % tourism levy that is required by every tourism enterprise is supposed to pay at the end of each month to the tourism development fund.
The Country kitchen which was closed due to the non-payment of the 1% percent was owning an amount of 8,232. 60ghc cedis.
The Authorities also went to Enda Restaurants at the Accra mall, Oak plaza hotel(Spintex) to retrieve their 1 % percent levy fee.
Enda Restaurants paid an amount of 50,000ghc cedis out of 72,318.38 whiles Oak Plaza hotel were made to pay 33,835. 13Ghc they owned.
Mr Ekow Sampson, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Tourism Authority and in charge of Operations who led the team on the exercise, said the Authority was keen on ensuring that the 1% (one) of the Tourism levy complies with the necessary regulations regarding their operations.
According to him, the Authority gave them enough notice since October but most of the tourism enterprise has found it difficult to comply with the payments of the 1% tourism levy.
The exercise is also aimed at ensuring that hoteliers and restaurant operators provide quality services and keep the required quality standards, he added.
He said that about 99,000 of tourism enterprises are owning them the 1% tourism levy and urged them to pay their levy without facing the law in their own hands.
We are going to evoke the powers given under the Act and LI to make sure that, those owing us pay. And then those units which are not keeping the required quality standards have to make sure that they keep the required quality standards. The facilities under this exercise are many”, Mr Samson said.
General operations manager at MJ Group of companies Akuffo T Ayeh was applauded by the authority for maintaining a high standard within the hotelier chain.
The Tourism Levy, stipulated in the Tourism Act 817 of 2011, is meant to provide the requisite resources for sustainable development of the tourism industry.
It is also meant to recover arrears owed by facility operators to put Ghana Tourism Authority in a better position to market and promote Ghana’s tourism resources.
The levies also go into the Tourism Development Fund. Collection of the levy began in 2012 with GH¢185, 647.00 collected that year.
Earlier this month the authority, embarked on the same exercise in the Ashanti Region to ensure that all hotels, restaurants and car rentals among others uphold high standards as Ghana marks The Year of Return.
By: Prince Baffour Asamoah