By Staff writer
Sultanate has previously used 'semi-voluntary' reporting system for hospitality sector
Hotels in Oman are now obliged to share details of guests and their visitors with the Royal Oman Police (ROP) on a daily basis, according to the tourism ministry.
Prior to the changes, there had been a ‘semi-voluntary’ reporting system, reported Times of Oman.
The ministry said it tightened measures because many hotels had not been submitting required logs. It also cited security as a reason for the changes.
Hotels will be able to log in the details through an online portal which will record guest information and share it with the ROP.
Single females will not be allowed to visit hotel guest rooms unless they are accompanied by a male relative, the ministry said, adding that hotels which fail to abide by the rules will face legal action.
Hotel administrators said the ROP had already been visiting hotels to claim registered guest and visitor logs.
“This is a process that has been going on for so many years with the hotels and we can’t reveal what kind of details we give to the ROP as it is confidential between us and the ROP,” said an executive at the Intercontinental Muscat Hotel.
However, officials from the Ministry of Tourism said only five and four star hotels had been complying with the regulations while three, two, and one star hotels had failed to do so.
Officials also cited revenue as the reason behind the logs.
“If we know how many visitors we can know how much we get. We could not know the revenue for many years. ROP started the visitor system. Now when visitors come to Oman they only require electronic visa. No need for anything else. They can come to Oman electronically and it shows also when they stay in hotels. Everything is clear in one place. To facilitate the procedure we require the daily report,” said undersecretary at the Ministry of Tourism, Maitha Al Mahrouqi.