The Brong-Ahafo Regional branch of the Ghana Tourist Board is to embark on a law enforcement exercise that will cover hospitality establishments operating illegally.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Sunyani on Tuesday, Mr. Francis Tapena, the Regional Manager of the Board, said the exercise would include accommodation, catering and restaurant establishments that were not yet registered with the Board as well as establishments that were not recommended for licences after inspection.
He said the Board usually embarks on the exercise in the last quarter of each year as stipulated in Legislative Instrument (LI) 1205, in order to ensure that operators abide by standards. "The GTB issues these licenses to tourism operators and it expires on the December 31. However, these establishments are expected to re-apply for renewal of their licenses. Any unit that falls below the standards is disqualified."
"Even for those who would qualify, licenses are given between the last week in January and the first week in February. They are required to come for the license latest by 15th March but some of them, for reasons best known to them, fail to collect these licenses. They know what is expected of them in this regard but some have turned a blind eye", Mr. Tapena said.
He said the first phase of the law enforcement exercise was undertaken some two months ago and it came out that 17 units did not qualify for license. Additionally, he said, 22 other hotels and restaurants have failed to pay and collect their licenses, hinting that those units or establishments were likely to face prosecution should they fail to take their licenses since their action contravened the law. Mr Tapena said the Brong-Ahafo Region had always done well as compared to other regions in the payment of license fees due to the cordial relationship between the board and hotel associations in the region.
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