The Ghana Tourism Authority has tasked Members of Parliament, MPs, to take inventory of all tourist sites within their constituencies to enable the authority keep a database of the sites to enhance monitoring and regulations. The move is also to improve standards and increase revenue collection as a way of boosting the sector.
The Authority announced that it has so far accrued GHS12 million into its development fund, a significant performance compared to the GHS15 million it generated in three years from 2012 to 2015.0
The money was mainly generated from the one percent levy charged patrons of certified hospitality facilities.
Speaking in an interview after the launch of the 2017 Ghana Beverage Awards, Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism Authority, Mr. Akwesi Agyeman told Goldstreet Business that a database is critical to the development of the sector.
He admitted that most of the places are substandard and have to be improved before they can be properly marketed both locally and internationally.
“There can’t be tourist sites that when you go there are no washrooms, reception etc. there should be management structure for all these places. You can’t market places when they are not ready, so we want to improve the product first.”
Agyeman explained further that “there’s an issue of management of the sites, ownership and other challenges. That is why we have started off at the regulatory stage. We regulate hotels and we know what star they are but when it comes to attractions we don’t know whether it’s one star, two or not.”
A legislative instrument which contains a blue print of how tourists’ attractions in Ghana should be licensed and managed, has already been approved by cabinet and will be presented to Parliament next week.
Meanwhile, the Tourism Authority has directed owners of unlicensed hospitality facilities to voluntarily register with it to avoid sanctions.
This is to enable the authority regulate the operations of such places.
By Nana Oye Ankrah