…hoteliers blame multiplicity of taxes
The gains chalked in the tourism sector risk being eroded if hotel rates in the country remain high.
President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Ackah Nyamekye, observed it rubs off badly on the country as hotel rates are regarded as one of the highest in the sub region and on the continent.
He said the high rates are as a result of taxes slapped on the hotels which invariably are passed to clients. Rather he urged government to exempt the hotel owners from some of the taxes which can bring down the rates drawing in more tourists and visitors to sample Ghana’s tourists offerings.
Even in Ghana, the cost of hotel room for the average Ghanaian is a deterrent stagnating the domestic tourism drive. Some hotels it has emerged at hotelier seminars spend more on utility tariffs than on staff salary
Other costs the hotels foot include business operating permits and property rates yet they are estimated to contribute 250,000 direct and indirect jobs to the economy.
The other obligations of these budget, guesthouse and five star hotels are payment of the 1 percent Tourism levy, Value Added Tax (VAT) on services provided, Tier 1 Pension Contributions and the annual income tax.
There is also the Audio-Visual Rights Society of Ghana (ARSOG), Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), and Insurance Companies collect fees from operators of hotels on annual basis.
By Michael Eli Dokosi