*** ----> Regulations tighten for Bahrain’s Hospitality and Tourism sectors | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Regulations tighten for Bahrain’s Hospitality and Tourism sectors

TDT | Manama     

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

As Bahrain tightens its grip on regulatory compliance in the hospitality and tourism sectors, stringent penalties are being imposed to ensure adherence.

The focus is on five key sectors: hotels, furnished apartments, restaurants, tour guiding, and travel and tourism agencies. Hotels and similar establishments face fines up to 8,000 BHD and possible closure for operating without a valid or expired license.

Unapproved activities such as transferring or leasing licenses incur fines ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 BHD.

Violations such as offering tips without authorisation carry penalties of 8,000 BHD. Additionally, non-compliance with security measures and unauthorised advertising attract fines of 2,000 BHD and 300 BHD, respectively.

Hotels and Similar Establishments:

Penalties for Violations Hotels and similar establishments found operating without a license or with an expired license face fines ranging from 6,000 to 8,000 BHD, in addition to closure.

Unauthorised transferring, leasing, or subletting of a license will incur fines between 3,000 and 5,000 BHD.

Offering tips or gratuities in any form results in a fine of 8,000 BHD. Operating a new facility or closing an existing one without a license incurs a penalty of 1,000 to 3,000 BHD.

Additionally, failure to provide 24-hour security will result in a fine of 2,000 BHD, while publishing advertisements or promotions without approval will attract a fine of 300 BHD.

Penalties for Furnished Apartments

Owners of furnished apartments operating without a license, or with an expired or revoked license, will face fines between 4,000 and 5,000 BHD.

Failure to ensure the safety of pools, maintain 24-hour surveillance cameras, and keep four months of CCTV footage will result in fines ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 BHD.

Non-compliance with building and equipment maintenance protocols attracts a 3,000 BHD fine. Failing to adhere to tourism service fee regulations, electronic invoice requirements, or adding unauthorized amounts to approved service fees incurs a penalty of 1,000 to 3,000 BHD.

A 100 BHD fine applies for not displaying the license certificate or tourism classification plaque in a visible location.

Transferring or leasing the license without written permission from the authority will result in a 2,000 to 3,000 BHD penalty. A 5,000 BHD fine, or 50 BHD per day, applies for failing to submit the audited financial report within the specified period.

Lastly, violating the effective decisions, requirements, and circulars issued by the authority will incur fines ranging from 100 to 2,000 BHD. P

enalties for Restaurants Catering to Tourists

Restaurants catering to tourists that are found guilty of harming the national reputation or the profession will face penalties ranging from 4,000 to 6,000 BHD.

Failure to connect the restaurant’s system to the tourism electronic statistics system will result in a fine of 3,000 BHD, or 100 BHD per day. Non-payment of hotel service fees within the specified timeframe incurs a penalty of 5,000 BHD, or 100 BHD per day.

Non-compliance with restaurant operating hours will attract fines ranging from 500 to 3,000 BHD, while failure to adhere to tourism-specific specifications, requirements, and standards will result in fines between 100 and 2,000 BHD.

Penalties for Tour Guiding Activities

Tour guides operating without a license, or after its expiration, face a fine of 200 BHD. Transferring the license or allowing its use without the authority’s consent incurs a 100 BHD penalty. Engaging in tour guide activities in restricted areas without special permission can lead to fines ranging from 100 to 300 BHD.

Non-compliance with standards of professionalism, ethical conduct, honesty, and courtesy in interactions is subject to a penalty of 100 to 300 BHD.Failure to display the tour guide card while working results in a fine of 50 BHD.

Penalties for Administrative Offices and Tourism and Travel Agencies

The decree outlines six violations in the sector, with the most notable penalties including:

• A 500 BHD fine for organizing diving trips without ensuring participants have the appropriate license from an accredited international body, or for failing to provide licensed instructors if the participants do not have the international license.

• A 100 to 300 BHD fine for not including all necessary details and conditions about the services provided in advertisements for activities, thus avoiding ambiguity or confusion for the public.

• A 100,000 BHD fine for losing any of the licensing requirements during the office’s period of operation.