The Ghana Tourism Authority has closed down 31 hospitality facilities in the Eastern region.
These facilities, hotels, lodges and hostels in the capital, Koforidua as well as other towns in the region, were operating without valid licenses, according to the Authority.
This followed a three-day Enforcement Exercise carried out by the GTA from June 25 to 27.
Three teams comprising the National and Regional Enforcement Task Force from the Authority, aided by officers from the Regional Police Command, were deployed to different parts of the region for the exercise.
The Authority in a statement copied to Joy News said “as a regulator of a service industry that is aimed at projecting the image of the country in a positive light, it is important to maintain and instill sanity in the industry by ensuring that operators comply with the rules, standards and laws that govern it whiles potential operators also meet all legal requirements to be able to practice.
“Service delivery and safety of patrons to these tourism facilities cannot be taken for granted,” the statement.
Below is a full copy of the statement:
UPDATE ON 2019 ENFORCEMENT EXERCISE – EASTERN REGION
The Ghana Tourism Authority is authorized and entrusted to register and licence every tourism business and hospitality facility in Ghana by Tourism Act (817) and its relevant Legislative Instruments L.I. 2238 TOURISM REGULATIONS, 2016 (REGISTRATION AND LICENSING OF FOOD, BEVERAGE AND ENTERTAINMENT ENTERPRISE) and L.I. 2239 TOURISM REGULATIONS 2016 (REGISTRATION AND LICENSING OF TOURIST ACCOMMODATION ENTERPRISE). This ACT also spells out the function and role of the Authority as a regulatory body which includes but not limited to the inspection and classification of all tourism and hospitality enterprises.
As a regulator of a service industry that is aimed at projecting the image of the country in a positive light, it is important to maintain and instill sanity in the industry by ensuring that operators comply with the rules, standards and laws that govern it whiles potential operators also meet all legal requirements to be able to practice.
Service delivery and safety of patrons to these tourism facilities cannot be taken for granted thus the Ghana Tourism Authority with strict adherence to its mandate and responsibility to maintain standards in compliance with ACT 817, has embarked on an Enforcement Exercise to clamp down on all illegally operating facilities across the Region. Physical closure of all identified Accommodation and Catering establishments that are operating without a Valid Operational License issued by the Ghana Tourism Authority was carried out without fear or favor.
The exercise was carried out over a span of three days from the 25th June 2019 to 27th June 2019. Three teams comprising of both the National and Regional Enforcement Task Force from the Authority aided by very professional officers from the Regional police command were deployed to different parts of the region for the exercise.
By the close of business on Thursday 27th June 2019, a total number of thirty-one (31) facilities have been visited by the team for physical closure, and are listed below:
Name of unit
Lambert Court Hostel
Captain Atuobi Junct. Koforidua
Greater Grace Guest House
Reggie Boat Hotel
Quest Lodge & Hostel
Cozy View Hotel
Riches of Glory Guest House
Star Gate Hotel
Royal Gate Guest House
Royal Asaase Hotel
Shai Hills Hotel
Klo Agogo, Boti Falls
American Guest House
Eno Agyeiwaa Guest House
Lavco Guest House
Graceland Luxury Guest House
Macdorini Guest House
7 Souls Hotel
Royal Masters Lodge
Amadu Guest House
However, immediately after their closure, some units such as, Reggie Boat Hotel, Koforidua; Cozy View Hotel, Kyebi; Soul Restaurant, Kyebi; Richies of Glory Guest House, Kyekyewere; Supreme Hostel – Koforidua and Mebendesly Lodge- Begoro quickly visited the office of the Authority in Koforidua, paid the necessary stipulated fees and are currently going through the documentary process of regularizing their operations.
The Regional Taskforce will sustain the enforcement exercise throughout the year to weed out all illegally operating tourism and hospitality facilities in the region. Beyond the fact that, operating a hospitality facility without a valid operational license issued by the Ghana Tourism Authority is an act of illegality, it also bothers on issues of compromising on standards of facilities, security and safety of patrons. The Ghana Tourism Authority will, therefore, marshal all its resources to ensure that all operators that have complied and licensed by the Authority work in a very congenial atmosphere and supported accordingly, while those that constantly flout the law will be made to face the full rigors of the law.
An effective collaboration of major tourism and hospitality stakeholders i.e. regulators, operators, sister regulatory and enforcement agencies, the media and the general public is essential for the success of the Tourism industry. It is our hope that this partnership continues to wax strong to weed out recalcitrant illegal operators and advance confidence in the tourism industry in the years ahead.
We entreat all patrons of hospitality facilities to always look out for the Ghana Tourism Authority’s valid operational license (validity is 1st January to 31st December) which is supposed to be boldly displayed at the reception. Facilities without an operational license must not be patronized.
Regional Manager, GTA, Koforidua