The Eastern Regional Task Force of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has vowed to weed out all illegally operating tourism and hospitality facilities in the region.
According to the regional office of the GTA, beyond the fact that operating a hospitality facility without a valid operational license issued by the GTA is an act of illegality, it also borders on issues of compromising on standards of facilities, security, and the safety of patrons.
The Ghana Tourism Authority will, therefore, marshal all its resources to ensure that all operators that have complied and are 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 rigours.
In a press statement issued on Friday June 28, 2019, and signed by Fredrick Adjei-Rudolph, Eastern Regional Manager of GTA, the authority indicated that, it is doing so because it is the regulator of a service industry that is aimed at projecting the image of the country in a positive light.
To this end, he mentioned that it would help to maintain and instill sanity in the industry by ensuring that operators comply with the rules, standards and laws that govern it, while potential operators also meet all legal requirements to be able to practice.
He continued that service delivery and the safety of patrons to these tourism facilities cannot be taken for granted, thus the Authority will act with strict adherence to its mandate and responsibility to maintain standards in compliance with Act 817.
Against this backdrop, the regional office of the GTA embarked on a three-day exercise comprising three teams of both the National and Regional Enforcement Task Force of the Authority, aided by very professional officers from the Regional Police Command which were deployed to different parts of the region for an enforcement exercise to clamp down on all illegally operating facilities.
The 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 favour.
At the end of the three days, a total number of thirty 31 facilities were visited by the team for physical closure.
The management of six out of the number quickly visited the office of the Authority in Koforidua, paid the necessary stipulated fees, and are currently going through the documentary process of regularising their operations.
The regional office entreated all patrons of hospitality facilities to always look out for the GTA Valid Operational License (validity is 1st January to 31st December), which is supposed to be boldly displayed at the reception.
He further cautioned that facilities without operational licenses must not be patronised.