…declares July as ‘action’ month
- approximately 3246 licensed hotels nationwide
- more alleged to operate without certification
The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has confirmed it will, from July this year, undertake an unusual enforcement to close down hotels not conforming to the authority’s regulations.
The nationwide operation, GTA noted, is expected to bring all culprits to book, with additional sanctions of making them pay the accrued statutory penalties and appropriate levies.
Currently, the GTA charges license fee of GHS150 for budget hotels, GHS250 for 1-star, GHS1, 000 for 2-star, GHS2, 500 for 3-star while 4-star and 5-star hotels pay GHS4, 000 and GHS5, 100 annually.
“There are 3246 licensed hotels in our database with over 200 of the number, operating with provisional licenses but there are some that continuously avoid the system” GTA’s CEO, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman told the Goldstreet Business on the sidelines of the maiden ‘Women in Tourism Summit’ in Accra.
Mr. Agyeman said the GTA in recent times has discovered that some hotel operators have developed the habit of consistently not conforming to the rules of the authority despite calls for registration through various media platforms.
The GTA, he noted, has done publicity in all media platforms appealing to hoteliers to approach the authority to begin or complete their registration or obtain provisional licenses but some are still not forthcoming.
“We have tracked some of them. Most of them advertise on the internet but are not in our database; they project themselves on bookings.com, hotels.com as hoteliers. In Accra we know majority of them are based in the Abokobi and Madina areas” Mr. Agyeman revealed.
He explained that, some of these culprits in desperation to attract customers, rate their facilities as 1-star, 2-star and even 3-star through online platforms, without the required amenities and certification.
“The danger is simple, customers or tourists cannot be traced or rescued in case of mishaps because the GTA may have scanty or no data on such facilities and their owners” he said.
Mr. Agyeman appealed to hotel owners to willingly approach the GTA in order to have their documentation process commenced or completed to save time and resources before the enforcement begins.
“We understand that some hoteliers may have some concerns but the issue of certification must not be compromised. That’s why the authority is ready to welcome and listen to them” he noted.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe