The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has inaugurated the Tourism Development Fund Secretariat, which will ensure the collection and remittance of the 1 percent tourism levy for the Tourism Development Fund.
The Secretariat has been mandated to embark on field visits to all certified enterprises in the tourism sector to collect and remit the levy.
The Secretariat has two years to organize its structures and ensure the registration of all restaurants, hotels and catering centers.
According to the GTA, only about 52 percent of registered and certified establishments have made payment into the fund.
All tourism establishments are required to collect one percent tourism levy from all services that patrons enjoy during their stay at the facilities to be paid into the Tourism Development Fund.
The fund seeks to improve marketing, capacity-building, market research, tourism education and training and tourism infrastructure.
The Secretariat has also been tasked to address concerns of operators and ensure that the funds are used appropriately.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creature Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare said the fund is going to be one of the most transparent ones in the country, adding that ‘we are striving to be game changer in the economy.’
She entreated the officials to be honest and accountable, noting that recalcitrant ones would be sanctioned.
Mrs. Ofosu-Agyare said President John Dramani Mahama has ordered for the release of GHÈ»1,000,000 to be used to support the creative arts industry.
‘Our tourism industry is very important to the nation’s development, our aim is to gather platform, create more employment for the youth and we believe this fund is going to help us realize this goal,’ she said.
By Angela Dzidzornu
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