Business News of Saturday, 22 July 2017
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Arts, Catherine Afeku, has launched a special nationwide campaign on the payment of the 1 percent domestic tourism levy.
The year-long campaign, which began on Thursday in Accra, seeks to sensitise stakeholders in the hospitality industry about the importance of the payment of the 1 percent levy.
Speaking at the launch, which coincided with a training workshop organized by the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) in partnership with the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the Ghana Tourism Development Company (GTDC) for players in the tourism sector, Ms Afeku underscored that the payment of the levy by all stakeholders would give industry a boost and lead to improvement in service delivery.
The workshop was aimed at sensitising stakeholders drawn from the Ghana Hotels Association, Car Rentals Associations, Tourism Writers Association, among others, about the importance of paying the levy, delivering quality services to customer and focusing on safety and security issues within the sector.
Minister Afeku explained that the tourism sector has the potential of changing the dynamic of job creation in Ghana if all stakeholders play their roles well.
“Once we accept our roles, we can make a difference,” she said.
The Minister spoke about major interventions being undertaken by the Ministry to position the tourism sector to contribute meaningfully to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), hinting that Ghana has been given the opportunity to organise the World Tourism Forum for the first time on the African continent.
She spoke about the marine drive project which according to her shall boost tourism when completed.
She, however, appealed to players within the industry, especially local hospitality firms, to pay critical attention to quality service delivery.
The Minister stressed the need for standardisation of service offered to tourists nationwide, urging all and sundry to fight against the menace of open defecation, especially along the beaches.
National President of GHATOF, Okatakyie Nana Anim I, in a statement, cited poor service delivery, poor collection of the 1 percent levy and lack of security at tourist sites, as some of the major challenges facing the tourism industry in Ghana which needs to be addressed.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GTDC, Kojo Antwi, who chaired the workshop, said “let’s work to promote tourism, arts and culture in this country.”