The Ghana Hotels Association has called on authorities to quickly suspend taxes on the hospitality industry to allow them to survive within the present lockdown state on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
They have therefore recommended a 3 percent reduction in Valued Added Tax (VAT), an 80 percent reduction in Company Tax, with different significant reductions in levies, pension and license charges, Business Working Allow, Environmental Protection Permit, Food and Drugs Authority Permit, Property Rate amongst others.
Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyamike Jnr, President of the association who made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Sunday defined that the demands had been necessitated by the nosedive the sector had taken as a result of coronavirus pandemic and its ramifications within the nation.
He appealed to authorities and other stakeholders to ignore suggestions that some individuals had been spewing out towards their name for the stimulus bundle and help them to outlive within the world irregular occasions on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Under these hard times, we want government and financial institutions to provide us with soft loans to manage our affairs until the situation normalizes.”
Dr. Ackah-Nyamike Jnr instructed the GNA that Tourism and Hospitality Industry, made up of; hotels, restaurants, tour operators, automotive rentals and aviation providers amongst others, was a major contributor to the economy of Ghana within the form of employment, taxes, levies, licenses, overseas alternate earnings.
He stated the World Journey and Tourism Council (WTTC) in a report in 2017, highlighted the affect of the sector on Ghana’s Gross Home Product (GDP) and on job creation.
The report noted that, “the total contribution of Tourism (and Hospitality) was 6.2 percent of GDP in 2017.”
On job creation, he stated the sector’s contribution to employment, together with; jobs not directly supported by the trade was 5.3 percent of whole employment (882,000 jobs).
He stated it was worthy to point out that the contributions of the trade to the nation continued even in the pandemic with inns releasing their services as quarantine lodging and the Chefs Association of Ghana cooking for the needy and vulnerable.