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Ghana Tourism Authority holds' stakeholders forum   
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The Ghana Tourism Authority on has held a stakeholders’ forum on the current state of the Tourism Development Fund in Accra.

The forum was to bridge the gap between the private and public entities to create a platform to share information on the status of the fund, its challenges, observations made as well as decisions and actions to help turn the challenges into opportunities.

Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, the Minister of Tourism Culture and Creative Arts, said stakeholders had contributed over the years to the development of the fund and it was important for them to be made aware of the status of the fund as well as the way forward.

She said stakeholders were important in the development of tourism in the country and that stakeholders who contribute to the fund must be encouraged to serve as an example for those who are yet to start contributing to the fund.

Mrs Ofosu-Agyare said the fund would be administered as transparent as possible and until stakeholders agreeg on how the money should be disbursed it would not be touched.

Mr Abraham Tetteh, Fund Administrator, Tourism Development Fund, said tourism played a very important role in the development of Ghana’s economy and created employment opportunities for lots of Ghanaians.

He said the fund was created to accelerate development of the tourism industry and improve quality delivery of services as well as promote tourism across the world, develop and promote other entrepreneurs.

He said the tourism levy of one percent, payable by tourism operators was, operationalized in October 2012 and the Ghana Commercial Bank, Merchant Bank and Unibank are responsible for collection of the levy.

Mr Tetteh said the cumulative collection of the tourism levy by stakeholders stood at GHc6, 042,500.00, adding that 86 percent of the contribution was made by star rating hotels, while budget constituted 5 percent and catering services contributed 9 percent of the cumulative levy.

He said some challenges associated with the fund included registered operators not paying into the fund, irregular payments, delay of payments, no reconciliation of bank statement and lack of capacity of the Ghana Tourism Authority to effectively and efficiently collect the levy.

Source: GNA

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