The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in the Eastern Region has closed down six hospitality facilities in the Kwahu enclave.
The Eastern Regional Ghana Tourism Authority manager, Frederick Adjei-Rudolph, explained the exercise is part of its enforcement and monitoring exercise to ensure compliance to tourism regulations ahead of and during the 2022 Kwahu Easter Festival.
“We do know that Easter celebrations at Kwahu is a peak period of hospitality operators to rake in, but we must also ensure value for money for tourists. About 27 facilities were earmarked under two categories: enforcement and monitoring.
“Six were closed down out of the 10 for enforcement, 17 other units will be re-inspected as part of ongoing monitoring efforts because they did not qualify for license this year.
“The Authority’s regulatory mandate will be fully and strictly enforced. The exercise will be very robust effective, fair and firm,” Frederick Adjei-Rudolph emphatically stated.
Those operating illegally are under monitoring to start the processes to acquire a license before they start business.
Others who flouted the standardised rules and were closed down would have to correct defects as requested by the GTA before they reopen.
The Eastern Regional GTA boss further explained: “Before a hospitality facility operates, they must obtain, complete and submit a registration form, submit document detailing the architecture of the infrastructure, submit all mandatory documents from allied agencies, such as the Fire Service, EPA, Police etc who must give approvals. Afterwards a first assessment of the facility is conducted, processes begins for the issuance of license within two weeks.The license lasts from January 1 to December 31 subject to renewal after periodic inspection. Operators of new facilities have six weeks to obtain and submit all mandatory and suitable requirements.”
For those who are operating below standard, they are required to correct defects before they would be allowed to work.
“We do not just close down facilities on poor standards, we identify defects, give caution for it to be corrected before we take action. Those we closed on poor standards had already received information to work on defects identified.”
Similar exercise would be held across the Eastern Region.
The Kwahu Easter Festival and Paragliding promises to be a memory to relive after a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is gratifying that the annual Kwahu Easter Festival is coming back with all its pomp and pageantry amidst several coordinated events and activities,” the GTA boss remarked.