GHANA TOURISM AUTHORITY: REGULATE VAT EXCLUSIVE RATES

Posted on October 12, 2012

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This post is prompted by a comment that came from a hotel in India no less following the post Response to the Ghana Hotels Association’s Appeal to Forgo Tax

“I believe that the Ghana Tourism Authority should monitor Ghana’s hotel’s quotation of rates insisting that they are VAT exclusive. Hotels …”

Little do the folks in India or anywhere for that matter know that even after changing their title from Ghana Tourist Board to Ghana Tourism Authority, the institution exerts no authority whatsoever, except perhaps closing unregistered hotels down. It’s a cultural thing. In short, and I’ve heard this a million times over the past thirteen years, “Ghana is very short on enforcement.”

I concur. The Authority must regulate that the quotation of rates by ALL hotels be VAT exclusive.

Just recently this situation hit me twice between the eyes. One of the last comments made at the meeting to sensitize tourism operators to the 1% tourism levy to be collected from the tourist, was from a hotelier asking how it would be started. “I hope I’m not one of the first to be registered to collect the 1% from guests. They’ll leave to go to another hotel that isn’t collecting it yet!”

And then again at the last meeting of the hotels association on October 3rd, I made a presentation to the membership on the tourism act. I prefaced my remarks saying the vice chairman of our association acted as the chairman of the event and he would add details I omit.

I then proceeded to detail the act and commented on criticisms made, the main one being that now the traveller had to pay the 15% VAT and now a further 1%. I said Ghana is in danger of becoming a high cost destination with the high cost of airfares, procuring a VISA to come, Accra hotels and now more tax!”

At the end of my short presentation, the vice chairman sitting to my right at the head table commented on the 15% VAT saying that if he does not include it in the rate the client will leave to another hotel where it is included.

So there…just how much VAT is collected from the tourism sector, VAT to go to poverty reduction.

So we need a slogan to start the campaign:

“THE HOTEL PROVIDES THE VALUE: THE CUSTOMER PAYS THE VALUE ADDED TAX!”

Got another more creative one? Let’s hear your comments and slogan(s)

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