GENERAL NEWS

Hotels in Western Region call for tax rebate amid COVID-19 outbreak

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Wednesday 25th March, 2020

By Seth Danquah, GNATakoradi, March 25, GNA – Hotel operators in the Western
Region have called on the Government to consider giving them tax rebate as the
spread of the coronavirus pandemic was having a toll on their operations.

Some Hotels have started laying off casual workers in a bid
to sustain their operations due to a huge drop in patronage with the fear that
they may shut down completely “if government does not intervene.”

According to them, guest visits and hiring of conference
halls have reduced drastically whereas some organizations have even cancelled
already booked events.

Mr Pradeep Kumar, General Manager of the Best Western Plus
Atlantic Hotel who spoke to the Ghana News Agency lamented that with the
suspension of all mass tourism related gatherings and the closing down of
beaches by the Ghana Tourism Authority, all hoteliers in the region were
waiting for an official announcement on the reduction in VAT and the tourism
levy.

He pointed out that though the hotel’s operational cost had
gone up as they were still paying high utility bills despite the huge decline
in patronage; his outfit had not laid off any permanent staff.

However, management thought it wise to cut down some
outsourced staffs and may consider cutting down certain services with other
service providers should the need arise.

Mr Anthony Kennedy Addiaba, General Manager of the Raybow
International Hotel, indicated that the hotel has suspended all entertainment
Programmes like live bands, conferences and meetings with over 25 members
following an order by the Ghana Tourism Board.

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“We are looking at VAT rate being reduced if possible. Is it
possible to, even adjust the electricity and water tariffs, a look at
suspending the payment we make to regulatory bodies including; property rates
and similar costs,” he quizzed. “That’s what we want to know now.”

GNA

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