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Ghana Tourism Authority to clamp down on enterprises defaulting levy, unlicensed

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The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) will, from Tuesday, October 17, 2023, embark on the annual nationwide levy enforcement exercise to shut down tourism facilities that have refused to pay the 1 percent tourism levy, Deputy CEO, Operations, Mr. Ekow Sampson, has warned.

The exercise, which is in line with the Tourism Act 2011 (Act 817), will also include illegal tourism enterprises that are operating without registration and licensing from the Authority.

Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, October 16, Mr. Ekow Sampson said the exercise will begin in five regions: Greater Accra and Tema, Eastern Region, Ashanti Region, Central Region, and Western Region, while the remaining regions will be conducted later.

The Authority is mandated by law under the Tourism Act 817 to register and license all tourism enterprises such as hotels, spas, guest houses, serviced apartments, hostels, home lodges, restaurants, fast food joints, traditional catering establishments (chop bars), drinking bars, travel agencies, entertainment centers, banquet halls, conference facilities, pubs, nightclubs, tour companies, and car rentals.

Consequently, all tourism entities, including apartments operating Airbnb without a valid license from the GTA, must proceed to register, while those already licensed must ensure to pay up all outstanding levies before the exercise.