Muscat: The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism has started issuing notices for using villas, apartments and guests houses for tourism purposes without licences. Such activities are violations of law.
The Heritage and Tourism Department in South Al Sharqiyah Governorate, during the weekend, issued a violation notice against one of the property owners who was found to be carrying out tourism activities without a licence.
In a circular, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism had said earlier that it was not permissible to operate tourism-related activities without obtaining the necessary licence from the relevant authorities.
“The ministry has noticed that some companies and individuals without tourism licences are advertising and promoting such services on various social media channels,” the ministry said in the circular.
Quoting Article 12 of the Tourism Law promulgated by Royal Decree 2002/33, the ministry said, “it is not allowed to occupy any site or tourist area or part of it, or benefit from, exploit or dispose of it, without a licence from the ministry”.
The ministry added that it is also not permissible to establish any hotel establishment or tourism, exploitation or management.
A fine not exceeding RO 3,000 will be slapped on anyone who violates the provisions of Articles 12, 15, 18 or 19 of this law or carries out one of the activities stipulated in these articles. If the violation is repeated, the fine shall be doubled with a ruling to close the facility.
The fine, according to the law, is also applicable to those individuals or companies who obtained a licence using forged document or engage in activities that violate the public morals or commit an act that harms the country’s reputation or security.