Local hoteliers decry high taxes as they fly to US on benchmarking trip

Nile Post News

Nile Post News

, Business

AMBROSE GAHENE

Hotel owners, under their umbrella organisation, Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA) on Monday expressed concerns over the high taxes levied on them by various taxing bodies.

This was disclosed by UHOA Chairperson Susan Muhwezi, during a press briefing to see off 20 members of UHOA, to a business trip to Chicago, USA in Kampala.

“We have been facing multiple taxation; especially for upcountry Hotels, where we pay 12 different taxes”, she said. She enumerated these taxes to include; local service tax, swimming pool tax, copy right and music and video
taxes among others.

She added that; hotel owners are currently paying Shs 2 million for playing music and another Shs 2 million for showing videos, yet these belong to service providers such as DSTV and other telecom companies.

“We call upon Ministry of Finance and Uganda Revenue Authority to look into this matter, as majority Hotel owners find it difficult to service their bank loans with these high taxes in place”, said Susan Muhwezi, also the director of Agip Motel, Mbarara.

She advised UHOA delegation to Chicago to exhibit a high level of integrity and represent Uganda as ambassadors.

The trip is being funded by the US Embassy and UHOA to promote entrepreneurship and Investment in the hotel industry.

The delegation to the US trip is being led by UHOA chief executive officer Jean Byamugisha.

“On this trip, our hoteliers will be meeting with fellow hoteliers in the US service providers and investors looking for new opportunities; especially in the hotel sector in Uganda”, she said.

The director, Ssese Island Beach Hotel Joyce Kikomeko reiterated the need for hotel owners and Ugandans to market hotels located in Uganda’s Lake Victoria Islands.

“It’s very surprising to note that few Ugandans venture to visit island hotels! How then will you market these hospitality industries to foreigners, when you have not visited them yourself?” she said.

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