The Tourism Development Fund has generated GH¢39 million as of December 2017, acting CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority has said.
Akwasi Agyemang said, “As of 2017 December, we had collected GH¢39 million since its inception and so currently we are doing an average of about 1.2 million a month.”
He said the Fund has seen a year-on-year growth of 10 to 15 per cent.
The Fund, which was established in October 2012 from the 1% levy on the services of tourism facilities including hotels and restaurants, aims to support the development of the industry and ensure the quality of service being provided to meet to defined acceptable standard.
Mr Agyemang said the amount generated so far is being used to fund the tourism sector’s investments.
“That is what we use to fund the training programs that we are embarking on, fund especially the marketing that we are doing,” he said.
Akwasi Agyemang said the Fund has been invested into various projects in the country.
He said part of the Fund has gone into renovating Kintampo waterfalls while some have seen the establishment of the Tourists Information Centre.
Mr Agyemang added that the Kwahu Paragliding site has been upgraded with the Tourism Development Fund.
Currently, he said work is underway to upgrade the Paga Crocodile Pond.
He said his outfit has acquired lands for the construction of five highway rest stops.
In Elmina as well, he mentions that the ‘Heritage Bay’ is being built.
The Tourism Authority boss said an amount from the Fund is being used to establish the ‘Eco-project.’
Mr Agyemang said the Ghana Tourism Authority is moving to an era where the collection of levies would be monitored digitally.
“As it is now, we are doing it manually; so people may collect but they have to remit and so now we are moving to a point where we have an automated system and you cannot run away from what is collected.” Mr Agyemang said.
He added that the authority is looking at reducing the stress that contributors have to go through in terms of payment, hence, the introduction of a ‘Mobile Money’ concept as means of payment and collection.
Informal sector contribution
Akwasi Agyemang said the Authority is looking at roping in the informal sector.
He said the monies collected so far are coming from the formal sector like the up-market hotels, hence, the need to extend contributions to the informal sector as well.
He added, with the introduction of the new technology, the Authority would be able to collect from the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) and other players in the informal sector of the economy.
The Tourism Development Fund is a fund administered by Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) with the objective, among others, of providing funding for tourism-related projects.
To this end, tourism enterprises are required by the Tourism Act 2011- Act 817 to pay levies towards the Fund.
These enterprises include hotels, guest houses, lodges, hostels among others.
(by Bismark Awusah )