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Business News of Monday, 25 February 2019

Source: Class FM

Stop charging in dollars – Afeku warns hotels

The Ministry of Tourism has issued a directive to various players in the hospitality industry to stop charging in foreign currencies, especially in U.S. dollars.

The Bank of Ghana’s laws currently bars the practice which has been identified as one of the factors putting pressure on the cedi.

Minister of Tourism, Catherine Afeku told journalists that there is an ongoing dialogue between the regulators and industry players to ensure they comply with the Bank of Ghana’s laws and desist from the practice.

She said: “It is a fact and we’ve been meeting them and they’ve also put some things on the table that there’s a multiplicity of taxes and that they have issues but that does not allow them to break the law.

“So, we’re having a stakeholder engagement with them through our regulatory agency, Ghana Tourism Authority, to ensure that we sanitise [the system]. In East Africa, you do not pay in foreign currency, you pay in the local currency.

“The regulatory agency under the Ministry of Tourism is working through the associations, we are working with them to meet their needs so that [they will comply].

“The truth is; we’ve more than 5,000 establishments and the big names are the ones practising this [charging in dollars]. If you go to Nzulezu and you are going to stay in a room, they charge you in cedis, it is the big ones in the regional capitals that are culpable and, so, we don’t want to lump all of them together, it is the few and they are the ones that we are engaging and telling them that it is not good.”

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