The Central Region branch of the Ghana Hotels Association (GHA) called on the government to address high utility tariffs and taxes crippling many facilities in the region.
According to them, the more than 26 taxes and levies, the high utility bills and the gross annual licensing regime, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, have hampered the growth of the sector and left many unemployed.
Mr. Isaac Paa Kwesi Inkum, regional president of the Association, said many hotel owners in the region have had to spend between 32 and 38 percent of their operating costs on electricity tariffs, taxes and levies. .
He told the Ghanaian News Agency in an interview that the high cost of operations was killing the industry, citing for example that it costs between 2,000 and 2,300 to run a hotel for a day in the region, a situation which lowered incomes and affected expansion. strategies of many establishments in the region.
The huge amount of electricity and water bills currently paid by hotels and others in the hospitality industry have done the industry a disservice and urged the government to ensure that utility bills paid by hotels are affordable.
Regarding taxes, he explained that the introduced value added tax had given rise to charges, which the government had to take into account by restoring the flat rate, as well as a further reduction in corporate tax for support the industry.
He mentioned various licenses and permits from the Environmental Protection Agency, urban and rural planning, among others, as a nuisance to their growth and survival.
There should be subsidies on utility tariffs, suspension of taxes such as VAT, tourism tax, national health insurance tax, property rate, among others.
This will properly position the hospitality industry to make significant contributions to the nation’s growth and development to cushion the nation from the wreckage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Referring to government interventions in the sector, Mr. Inkum said the three billion Ghanaian cedis facility, which is supposed to be injected into the pharmaceutical, manufacturing and hotel sectors with a six-month moratorium on principal repayments to banks does not had not benefited any member of the Region.
Overall, he said the hospitality industry has triggered a lot of economic activity in the hospitality industry. Therefore, steps must be taken to ensure that hotels pay realistic utility bills so as not to push them into bankruptcy.