Tour operators laud DTCM’s steps against unauthorised guides

DUBAI — Tour operators have hailed the action taken by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and other government departments to prevent the practices of illegal tour operators who distribute tourism brochures to Dubai visitors and tourists.

By Ramona Ruiz

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Published: Thu 16 Dec 2004, 11:34 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:30 PM

Adnan Aridi, director, Alpha Tours and Alpha Holidays, said: “The issue of illegal tour guides or operators is something which concerns us. It may not really have a large impact on licensed tour operators like us, but on tourism in Dubai, in general.”

The licensed tour operators have brought this to the attention of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) which in turn arranged a meeting with the Dubai Police, Department of Economic Development and Dubai Municipiality to help solve the problem, he said.

“The DTCM acted very quickly on this pressing matter, and we appreciate what they had done,” Mr Aridi said.

In a recent meeting with the DTCM, various government authorities and representatives of tour companies in Dubai discussed the illegal practices of these guides who approach tourists in the airport, parks and public beaches to sell excursions with very low prices.

The Dubai International Airport will dedicate a special area for tour operators to distribute their brochures to the visitors at the airport. It will study the matter further with the Dubai Police. The Dubai Municipality will coordinate with the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) if such activities are witnessed in public parks. The DED shall stop every illegal operator who distributes brochures to Dubai visitors in coordination with the Dubai Police.

“These tour guides are not licensed by the DTCM and they have no right to conduct tourism-related businesses here. Imagine the discomfort of a tourist relaxing on the beach after being approached by a tour guide with brochures. This affects the positive image of tourism in the emirate,” he said.

Binu Justus, travel manager at International Travel Services, lauded DTCM’s initiative in keep the booming tourism industry free from unethical practices to ensure credible and quality experience to visitors.

“The initiative is actually good because authorised tour operators will be allowed to provide quality services for tourists, leaving no chance for small, unlicensed tour operators to lure tourists into patronising their services which may be of poor quality and negatively affects the image of Dubai as a tourist destination.”

He added: “We market the product overseas through our suppliers. Groups are booked in advance.”

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