HAPPY WORLD TOURISM DAY (2): COLLECTING THE TOURISM LEVY!

Posted on September 27, 2014

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Guess you have deduced how important I consider tourism to be. I celebrate it twice once erroneously on the 26th and now again on the 27th! I do want to make the day memorable!

Yes, today is WORLD TOURISM DAY and did you know that tourism is a trillion dollar sector, moving over one billion tourists across international borders each year. What’s more tourism is one of the most significant economic sectors of our time, creating one in every 11 jobs on the planet. Behind the impressive numbers are all the chefs, innkeepers sic YEAH!, artisans, taxi drivers, shopkeepers, bakers, guides, and millions of other workers, which for many tourism represents a vital opportunity for a better life. This year the day is celebrated under the theme Tourism & Community Development, focusing on tourism’s ability to empower people and provide them with skills to achieve change in their lives and their local communities….

So why should Ghana wait, wait for training of its professionals, wait for improving the old tourism products and creating new ones, before marketing and selling Ghana to the world? In fact, Mr. Aquaye, National President of the Ghana Hotels Association, should not be worried about where the money is spent, but rather he should be ensuring that his membership is collecting the levy. This was posted quite recently “Tourism Development Must Improve After 57 Tears of Nationhood”. Here’s the significant quote:

“The Ghana Tourism Authority established the Tourism Development Fund to provide funding for tourism and tourism-related projects and programmes. The current Minister of Tourism and Creative Arts, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, with an eye on the one percent Tourism Levy (also known as Bed Tax) collected by private operators, is determined to ensure that the Ministry will not be part of budget hearing.

She has plans to call a stakeholder meeting soon, partnering with the umbrella Ghana tourism Federation (GHATOF), to strategise the way forward for collection of the levy. At the moment, although 90 percent of the tourism plants have been registered to collect, only the big hotels are doing so faithfully.

Every tourism facility everywhere in the remotest part of Ghana must be registered to pay the one percent”, she urges.

Questions: Why is it only the big hotels that are collecting the levy??? Has that ever been discussed at the National Executive Council of Ghana Hotels Association or at the GHATOF table?
The article was published on March 5, 2014 edition of the Business and Financial Times. Did a meeting ever take place on collecting the tourism levy?

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Furthermore, the article, which I hope you read and comment on, ends with…

” As earlier mentioned, the potential for tourism in the country is huge, and after 57 years as an independent state, Ghana’s tourism has to move up the ladder to become the leading foreign exchange earner for the economy. The Ghana Tourism Authority must lead the way to market and sell the country’s tourism potential.”


THERE YOU HAVE IT…ALLOCATE MONEY ACCRUED THROUGH THE TOURISM LEVY TO MARKET AND SELL GHANA TO THE WORLD!

SO ONCE AGAIN, FOR THE SECOND TIME, HAPPY WORLD TOURISM DAY GHANA..

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