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Merge 104.8 | 11 June 2020
Speaking at the 10th press conference of the Supreme Committee for COVID-19, Oman’s Minister of Tourism, H.E. Ahmed bin Nasser Al Mahrizi said that studies were made to evaluate the financial burdens of COVID-19 on the tourism industry and, based on that study, the Ministry made a number of decisions:
— Collections on taxes due from the four per cent tourism tax that is implemented on hotels and tourism establishments in the country have been postponed for taxes accrued in the period starting from December 1, 2019 up until the end of August, 2020.
— In terms of tourist visas, many tourism offices and travel agencies have paid for significant batches of tourist visas, which since had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. As a result, the Ministry of Finance and the Royal Oman Police have agreed to replace those visas issued between March 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020, and to extend their expiry dates until March 2021.
— The Ministry is unable to speak on or assess any potential losses to the tourism industry in the wake of COVID-19 yet — as the tourism season ended only in April, apart from Dhofar. The Minister of Tourism stated that only by September will the Ministry be able to issue an exact analysis of the overall impact of losses.