The Bureau of Tourism (BOT) and Bureau of Revenue and taxation (BRT) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement last week where Tour Operators are liable to register with BOT before BRT can issue a license.

“The four years this bureau has been operational, we have registered average 40 tour operators. Our mandate is to register every single tour operator,” Director of Tourism Kevin Mesebeluu

BRT is responsible agency to issue a business license and BOT is the agency to promulgate regulations in for the tourism sector. When Mesebeluu reached out to BRT, he found out that in total there are about 140-150 tour operators.

“That means over a 100 people were not registered with us and we had no idea what they were doing. They may be paying their taxes but in terms of environment and safety, we had no idea if they were performing well,” Mesebeluu said.

The new agreement that has now been established between two offices changes the process as it is now compulsory for the tour operators to register with BOT first before getting their license from BRT.

“Coming January where every business has to register for a new business license. We should see full compliance of all the tour operators in the country for the first time, that means we all will be operating on the same regulations. That is a big step,” Mesebeluu added.

Mesebeluu also added that awareness and education about the reforms is the primary step and then comes enforcement. (By Eshan Kalyanikar)