Multiplicity of taxes is running down many hotels, guest houses and restaurants in the Northern region, the Acting Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Alexander Kwame Nketia has said.
Mr Nketia said the hospitality industry which had grown at an impressive rate over the past one and a half decades was currently reeling under serious challenges.
He revealed that electricity and water tariffs as well as multiple taxes from various government agencies were making the industry unprofitable and therefore an unattractive business.
“Our major challenge has, of course, been electricity. That is the major challenge for the industry. Electricity, water, but most especially electricity tariffs. That is what is killing the industry and then of course the issue of multiplicity of taxes. GTA will tax them because we are mandated to do certain work and then other agencies, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), Fire [Service], assembly, name them. They are all coming in and taxing them up and down,” he said.
The number of hotels in the Tamale Metropolis has increased astronomically over the years, with the most popular ones been Mariam Hotel, Modern City Hotel, Ganaa hotel, Arewa Sunshine Hotel, Hamdallah Guest House, Relax Lodge among others.
Mr Nketia who made these remarks in an interview with Radio Tamale said the standards of the facilities in the hospitality industry in the region could match up to others across the country.
Corroborating Mr Nketia’s comments, the President of the Ghana Hotels Association who doubles as the Chairman of the Ghana Tourism Federation, Mr Sampson Zakari said the industry was a on a low side.
“The hospitality industry for now is on a very low side. Now we have very low patronage. Generally, the business is quite very bad. We are bedeviled with numerous taxes. In fact the industry is bleeding,” he said.
Mr Zakari, who is also the proprietor of Arewa Sunshine Hotel, said the industry aimed at improving most of the facilities to meet international standards.
He said the industry was collaborating with the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) to develop the tourism sites in the area to attract tourists which will in turn rejuvenate the hospitality industry.
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