The Northern Regional Chapter of the Ghana Hoteliers and Hospitality Association is calling for a single-window system to curb the overcharges of fees crippling the industry.
The association said despite the pandemic and its effects on their businesses, the various regulators keep imposing heavy taxes without taking into consideration how the industry had suffered in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of the association were speaking at a stakeholder forum meant to resuscitate the tourism and hospitality sector in the region. The single window system, according to the association, would help regulate and make the operators know the exact amount to pay in taxes to the government. According to them, 2020 was a very difficult year due to the outbreak of the pandemic which affected the hospitality industry.
Addressing the Association in Tamale, the Northern Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Alhaji Ismael Hakeem said the aim of the meeting was to collaborate with the industry operators to brainstorm and come with ideas that would help resurrect the industry to bring about job opportunities to grow the economy.
He noted some operators in the industry folded up while others are still battling to survive due to the lack and access to finance to inject into their businesses. “As Authority, we will be working with the sector to help address their issues for a better future,” he said.
The Northern Regional Chairman for the Association, Cosmas Alhassan, said the continuous intimidation by the regulators would result in business collapse which could lead to unemployment. “We all know the effects of the COVID pandemic. So, we expect our regulators to sympathize with us. For when the businesses collapse, it would be difficult for the government to source revenue for developmental projects to grow the economy,” he said.
He also urged the need for the operators to collaborate to come out with a mechanism that would help to revive the sector back to its feet. He stressed that the single window would help to identify the quantum of money to be paid yearly, to more than five agencies at a time.