The Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) is demanding further consultations in determining taxes and levies for the tourism industry.
The industry has expressed grave concern over the multiplicity of taxes which have increased the cost of operation for hoteliers and rendered some unprofitable.
Some have also cautioned of job layoffs to be able to stay relevant in business.
Institutions such as the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) have initiated moves to ease the burden for businesses in the tourism subsector.
But the President of the Ghana Tourism Federation, Okatakyie Nana Anim I, explains that further engagement will reduce the apprehension among business owners.
“The authorities engage us in some cases but at the end of the day when it comes to monetary aspect, we are excluded. But then we believe in our sector minister for now because she believes in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) concept. When you look at the environment, the private sector is supposed to drive the industry growth it is not the public sector,” he told Citi Business News.
Among the numerous taxes and levies hoteliers are subjected to include the Fire certificate, business operating license, Tourism Development Levy, standards certification.
In addition, is the mandatory utility (water and electricity) bills that the businesses are made to contend with.
Even though there have been former engagements on a possible reduction in the cost of electricity for such categories of businesses, Okatakyie Nana Anim I believes more needs to be done to drive down the high operational costs confronting members.
He maintains, that could largely be achieved through the constant engagement with the relevant authorities.
“The public sector is to support the private sector; for instance if you take road, no private sector can construct one but it is the duty of the government to do that so that we will work and pay taxes. But if taxes are taken, then we need to sit down and work it together so we do it as a team,” he emphasized.
The GHATOF boss spoke to Citi Business News at the sidelines of a sensitization workshop for members of the Federation on key developments in the sector including the 1 percent Tourism Development Levy.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana