Imo State Hotel Owners Association has urged the state governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma to stop the over taxation of the hospitality firms in the state.
Chairman of the association, Chima Chukwunyere made the call during the World Tourism Day celebrated on Monday, September 27.
Chukwunyere, who is also the Managing Director of Domino Paramount Hotel, Owerri alleged some persons working in concert with corrupt judicial officers have kept churning out kangaroo court orders and enforcing same to the detriment of the hospitality industry.
He cited an order obtained in 2017 by an agent in charge of abatement of waste water flowing from hotel premises into the gutters and a garnishee court order issued in December 2, 2020 against some hotels as classical examples.
Chukwunyere argued that tourism cannot thrive in the state without the hospitality industry.
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He therefore appealed to the state governor to restore the dignity of the tourism industry in the state by checking the excesses of miscreants who masquerade as government revenue agents.
Chukwunyere also urged the governor to intensify onslaught against criminal elements whose activities will go a long way to impeding the growth and development of hotel business in the state.
The hotelier stated that the hospitality industry is the second largest employer of labour in the state, even as he urged government to fashion out more programmes and policies that would further boost tourism in the state.
Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Tourism, Mazi Uche Ohia noted that the theme of this year’s celebration “Tourism for inclusive growth” underscored the role of tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability.
Ohia said; “This theme is in tandem with the vision of our dear governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma which is to make Imo an irresistible destination not only for leisure, entertainment but also for business, conference, educational, medical, heritage and ecotourism”.
The commissioner stated that government was working on rehabilitating tourist’s sites as well as inspection, grading, training and recertification of hospitality facilities.