We welcome the call for reduced hotel fees, but taxes are too high – Ghana Hotels Association
The Ghana Hotel Association has welcomed the appeal of the Minister of Tourism for hotels to reduce their high fees.
But it is the concern over levies and high fees imposed by the government on members that have increased its operating costs.
Tourism Minister Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal told a recent meeting that high hotel rates are hampering the growth of local tourism.
But Hotel Association president Dr Edward Ackah-Nyamikeh Junior Jr. told Joy Business that the government and hotel operators need to talk to find common ground.
According to him, the high rate of hotel charges is also due to a combination of government policies and hotel practices.
“The Minister’s appeal goes in the right direction insofar as he placed it in a context of dialogue between the government and hotel stakeholders to help reduce the cost of hotel rates. You see, for me, the minister’s call is also an admission that perceived high hotel rates are a factor in government policies and hotel practices and that is why he calls for this dialogue.
“Indeed, when it comes to government policies, you know we talked about the accumulation of high taxes in our operations, 2.5% NHIL, 2.5% GETFUND and then now 1% of the Covid-19 levy and then on top of all this we add the VAT of 12.5% and the Tourism Development Fund of 1%, ”he said.
He also said that the regulatory fees paid by its members are also exorbitant, saying “where we pay levies for operations and then you have high emoluments in terms of staff”.
The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit during the emergence of covid-19, recording a negative growth rate throughout 2020.
It also contracted 10.7% in the first quarter of 2021.