Special Adviser to the Cross River State governor on Tourism Development, Wilfred Usani is insisting that the tourism development levy charged by the Cross River State Government “is not another form of taxation on the tourism operators in the state”, rather he maintains that “it is a consumption tax on the tourist” from the expenditure that the tourist makes in the course of his visit.
Speaking exclusively to www.calitown.com in his office recently, the SA added that the world over, tourism destinations benefit from the growth of tourism by taxing tourists who come to their destinations. It is the reason “why a responsible government goes out of its way to make investment with public sector funds to develop iconic attractions, maintain security, provide infrastructure and make travel comfortable”.
On why tourism operators are kicking against this levy, Usani opines that it cannot be far from the fact that government in the past “did not have in place a policy which will properly outline the vision of government and the legal framework that will determine the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders in the sector”. This www.calitown.com understands has been done as a condition for re-engineering tourism in CRS.
The CR tourism boss informed further that the new CRS Policy on Tourism which was approved by the state Executive Council on April 16, 2014, as the fundamental guiding document on the subject, seeks new licensing regulations to regulate the private sector tourism operators as well as turn around and put the private sector at the fore front of tourism development and enable it have a properly regulated industry. It will also be targeting the formation of strong destination management partnerships woth the private sector.
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