Imo State Hotel Owners Association has cried out to the state governor, Hope Uzodimma to rescue them from over taxation by some overzealous revenue agents.
Chief servant of the association, Chima Chukwunyere in a statement made available to newsmen marking the 2021 World Tourism Day celebration in Owerri alleged that some unscrupulous touts in alliance with corrupt judiciary staff had formed the habit of securing kangaroo court orders and enforcing same to the detriment of the hospitality industry.
He cited the court order obtained in 2017 by an agent in charge of abatement of waste water flowing from hotel premises into the gutters as a case in point and a gnashed court order issued on 2nd Dec 2020 against some hotels as classical examples.
Dwelling extensively on the importance and indispensability of the hospitality industry to society, Chukwunyere argued that no tourism ever thrives in any part of the globe without the hotel industry.
He appealed to Hope Uzodimma to restore the honour and dignity of the tourism industry in the state by checkmating the excesses of miscreants who he said masquerade as government revenue agents and to intensify onslaught against criminal elements all of which impede the growth and development of hotel business in the state.
As the second largest employer of labour in the state, Chukwunyere also urged the state government to fashion out more programmes and policies to further boost tourism in the state.
Commissioner for tourism in the state, Hon Uche Ohia said the theme of the celebration “Tourism for inclusive growth” underscored the role of tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability.
“This theme is in tandem with the vision of our dear governor distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma which is to make Imo an irresistible destination not only for leisure and entertainment, but also for business, conference, medical, heritage and ecotourism,” he said.