Business News of Saturday, 24 January 2015
The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare has tasked Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives to collaborate with her Ministry to promote domestic tourism vigorously to the benefit of all Ghanaians.
She noted that with the District Assemblies as the custodians of tourist sites, they are the primary beneficiaries of any dividends that accrue from such efforts.
At a meeting with Municipal and District Chief Executives from the Brong Ahafo region, the Minister observed that promotion of tourism, culture and creative arts is a shared responsibility that requires the concerted efforts of all stakeholders – policy makers, private sector, traditional authorities among others.
She appealed to MMDCEs to use every opportunity at their disposal to entreat hospitality sector operators to collect the 1% Tourism Levy and remit same at the specified periods to the designated banks – GCB Bank, Unibank and Universal Merchant Bank.
The one percent levy is a tax payable not by operators but patrons of any tourism facility on services rendered. She said it is by so doing that the sector will generate the needed resources to improve product and infrastructural development, marketing and promotion, market research, human resource improvement, etc.
She cautioned hospitality service providers that the de-dollarisation policy was still in force and that the only legal tender in the country was the Ghana Cedi. She tasked the MMDCEs to ensure strict compliance with the policy and prevent quoting of rates in foreign currencies.
Some of the MMDCEs called for technical and financial support from the Ministry for the development of some attraction sites. They also drew attention to promotion of potential tourism initiatives such as funeral tourism.
The meeting formed part of the Minister’s nationwide familiarisation tour. The team, involving Ministry officials and the private sector, are currently in the Ashanti region.