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Tourism regulator issues warning to unlicensed service providers

James Kon

The Tourism Development Department, as the regulator of travel agents in the Sultanate, said yesterday that in light of public complaints on tourism activities by unlicensed companies offering services within and outside the country, including umrah and haj packages, any company or individuals carrying out tourism activities without valid licences is a violation under Section 11(1), Chapter 239 of the Tourism Act.

Those found guilty can face a fine not exceeding BND10,000, imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both. For subsequent violations, a maximum fine of BND100 is levied for each day of violation, said the department in a statement.

Companies planning to conduct travel agent activities must apply for a licence from the department. Licensed travel agents intending to offer umrah or haj services must obtain approval from the Haj Affairs Department under the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA).

The public is urged to check the list of licensed travel agents on the Tourism Development Department’s website at www.tourism.gov.bn.

Meanwhile, the Haj Affairs Department issued a separate statement informing that the list of companies allowed to offer haj and umrah package services can be found on the MoRA website at kheu.gov.bn

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