JEDDAH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) recently confirmed that in-house massage services have been banned in hotels, furnished apartments and other tourist accommodation, except those that have a four-star rating or higher.
“The commission has issued a circular for the operators of tourist accommodation facilities to ban massage services in such facilities, with the exception of five-star or four-star hotels and their spas, according to specific requirements and clear criteria in the fields of safety and discipline,” said SCTH spokesman Majed Alshadeed.
Venues that are permitted to provide massage services must obtain statutory licenses from the relevant government agencies to do so, he added.
Omar bin Abdul Aziz Al-Mubarak, the director-general of the general department of licensing at the SCTH, said the decision was based on tourism regulations, which stress the importance of organizing tourist facilities and services to ensure fair competition.
Any violations, which can be reported through the Tourism Communication Center, will be subject to the penalties stipulated in tourism regulations, he said.