The Ministry of Tourism in Ghana has issued a directive to the hospitality industry to stop charging in US dollars and rather charge in the Ghanaian cedi.
The central bank, Bank of Ghana (BoG), says the practice of charging in dollars has been identified as one of the factors putting pressure on the cedi, hence the directive.
The Minister of Tourism, Catherine Afeku while speaking to reporters revealed that her ministry is having an ongoing dialogue between the regulators and the hospitality industry players to ensure they comply with the Bank of Ghana’s laws and desist from the practice.
She said, “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 minister also said that it was only the hotels in the cities that charge in the foreign currency.
“The truth is we have 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.”
Meanwhile, the hotel regulators and owners have said that there has been a multiplicity of taxes and that has been the reasons why they charge in the foreign currency to enhance some adjustments.
But the minister said the reason is not a basis for breaking the law.