The Ghana Tourism Authority in the Eastern region on Monday commenced an exercise to shut down unapproved student hostels and hotels in the region.
Some fifteen hostels in Koforidua and a hotel at Akropong -Akuapem are expected to be shut down by close of the exercise on Tuesday.
The facilities are operating without license from the Ghana Tourism Authority contrary to the Tourism Act of 2011 (Act 817) hence the closures.
The hostels shut down today included Vine Yard, Lincoln Universal ,Mr.Doe,Sir Joe and Elite hostels .
Others expected to be closed down on Tuesday are Solo ,Helluyah, Rising Bell, Madiba,Front line, Hostel 99, Stella , Central ,Pacesetters and Supreme Hostel all located in Koforidua.
The private hostels provide accommodation for students mostly from the Koforidua Technical University, augmenting the accommodation stress in the Institution due to inadequate public student hostels . This means that students may struggle to have hostel accommodation when school reopens next week.
The Eastern regional Manager of Ghana Tourism Authority, Frederick Adjei -Rudolf told Starr News the exercise is to ensure compliance .
“For you to operate any accommodation establishment, you have to fulfil some statutory obligations. The first thing is to come to Ghana Tourism Authority, purchase a registration, form after which you are given a stipulated registration fee to pay .The Registeration fee will depend on a number of rooms that you have and category of the facility you operate ” he said.
Mr.Adjei – Rudolf further explained: “after that you need to submit documents from various agencies of the state such as the Fire Service ,the EPA, Police Service, Environmental Health Division of the District Assembly, EPA would have to certify you, Town and Country would have to certify you, have a building permit ,so when all these agencies certify that you are in good standing with them and you finish the registration then we come in to inspect and you meet all the requirement; then we give you the license to operate “.
According to the Regional Manager, those with license are only expected to renew them yearly.
He said the Eastern regional branch of the Ghana Tourism Authority is going to fully enforce tourism regulations to ensure strict compliance.