Muscat – There are more than 1,700 unlicensed hotels in Oman affecting the quality of tourism products and services and the reputation of the tourism sector in general, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MHT) has stated.
To regulate the sector and check malpractice, the ministry kick started a month-long awareness campaign themed ‘Quality begins with licensing’ on Sunday.
The campaign’s goals are manifold – to enhance the hotel sector’s operations, ensure quality standards align with the ministry’s vision, curb malpractices that tarnish the tourism sector’s reputation, and curtail financial discrepancies arising from unregulated hotel activities. Moreover, the campaign seeks to address security concerns linked to these establishments.
Said bin Hareb al Obaidani, Director General of Tourism Development at MHT, emphasised the campaign’s intent to rectify unlicensed hotel operations. “This initiative addresses the increasing issues and complaints associated with unauthorised hotel activities, ensuring that our tourism sector remains robust and compliant,” he stated.
Obaidani further explained that the campaign is tailored to cater to multiple demographics. For licensed hoteliers, the focus is on upholding high-quality services and prominently displaying their tourism licence, particularly on electronic platforms like social media, making verification straightforward for potential guests.
For unlicensed operators, the campaign underscores the requirement of aligning their activities with existing regulations to avoid legal complications. “In coordination with relevant authorities, we are actively monitoring unlicensed hoteliers and will take stringent legal action against those operating without requisite permissions,” Obaidani added.
For those looking to venture into the tourism sector, Obaidani recommends using the ministry’s official portal. “Our collective aim is to ensure safety, security and quality for all. And it all starts with proper licensing,” he concluded.