The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) has warned Saudis and expatriates against becoming victim to bogus travel and tourism offices.
Ahmad Al-Eisa, assistant deputy chairman of SCTA for licenses and quality, said consumers should be wary of dealing with individuals who offer low cost packages by claiming they belong to tourism offices that do not exist.
Al-Eisa said SCTA teams will carry out inspections of travel and tourism offices across the Kingdom to curb unscrupulous practices.
Penal action, including closure of offices, will be taken against violators, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
He said SCTA has drawn up terms and conditions for licensing travel and tourism agencies in cooperation with agencies and organizations including the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the umbrella group of international airlines.
Al-Eisa said SCTA would update its website with the names and details of licensed travel and tourism agencies regularly.
He added: “The agencies should displace prominently their license numbers and other details in their premises so they are visible to customers.
“Customers should also play a role in protecting their rights by informing authorities about illegal offices that try to con them.”
Al-Eisa also said those who have complaints about such offices to phone the SCTA’s tourism contact center on 8007550000, approach any SCTA branches personally or register online at www.scta.gov.sa.