COVID-19: Oman to levy 4% fee on hotel clients

Oman is planning to levy a 4 per cent fee on customers to tackle the economic impact of the coronavirus.
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Cairo: Oman plans to levy a 4 per cent fee on customers at hotels as the country is tackling the economic impact of the new coronavirus and a fall in oil prices, according to a government minister.

“An agreement has been reached with the Ministry of Finance to impose a 4 per cent fee on customers in hotel establishments,” Omani Minister of Tourism Ahmad bin Nasser al Meherzi said Thursday without saying when the levy will start taking effect.

He added that the country’s tourism sector has been hard hit by the suspension of air travel due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

“Revenues from the Salalah tourist season surpassed 80 million RO last year. But priority today is for health and safety of citizens and expatriates,” he told a press conference given by the Supreme Committee on COVID-19 in Muscat.

On Thursday, Oman announced locking down the Governorate of Dhofar, of which Salalah is the capital city.

The Omani government has decided to postpone collecting charges from the tourism establishments that were due over the period from September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020 to be paid in the first quarter of next year to mitigate the impact of the virus crisis, Meherzi said, according to the Omani news agency ONA.

Omani Transport Minister Ahmad Bin Mohammad Al Futaisi, meanwhile, said that locking down Dhofar and the province of Duqm has prompted delay in resuming domestic flights.

Last month, Oman announced a further 5 per cent cut in the budget of the government agencies and the army as part of measures to address the economic fallout from the virus outbreak and the drop in oil prices.

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