Universal Merchant Bank (UMB), one of Ghana’s leading indigenous and customer oriented banks, has been appointed as one of the three universal banks mandated to collect and manage levies towards the Tourism Development Fund on behalf of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA).

The Tourism Development Fund is a fund administered by the GTA with the objective, among others, of providing funding for tourism and tourism-related projects.

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, travel and tours agencies and car rental companies. Others include movie houses, theatres, entertainment and conference centres, tourist sites, night clubs, spots and spas.

Consequent to its appointment, UMB will duly commence activities as an authorized collector of Tourism Development Fund levies.

Ms. Nilla Selormey, Managing Director/CEO of UMB, expressing her delight at the appointment, stated that the bank has proven extensive experience and capacity in the provision of revenue collection services and indeed is a market leader in this field.

She added that tourism enterprises can patronize any of the 23 UMB branches nationwide to make their payments to the GTA for the 1% tourism levy.  She further commented that the bank is opening several new branches before the end of 2014 to increase accessibility.

Yvonne Botchey, Director, Marketing and Communications of UMB, remarked that “UMB’s appointment as an official collection bank for the GTA is consistent with our continuing support of the tourism sector. In the past we have provided financing to several renowned hotels in Ghana and we view the development of the tourism industry as a whole as vital to Ghana’s overall economic growth and development efforts.”

She further commented that UMB provides on-site banking at the Koforidua Regional Hospital and the Lands Commission and Survey Departments.

“We also provide collection services on behalf of the National Lotteries Authority, Electricity Company of Ghana, DVLA (Koforidua),DSTV, MTN Mobile Money and several other organizations. Additionally, we are an official collection agent for insurance premiums for SIC,” Ms. Selormey mentioned.