On Wednesday the Government approved the proposal of the Ministry of Economy to obligate the State Department of Tourism to establish licensing procedures for travel agencies.
Minister of Economy Evaldas Gustas
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

The move was opposed by the Legal Department of the Office of the Government. It said the practice when licence issuer also approves licensing procedures is faulty as it might violate the principles of impartiality and objectivity.

The Ministry of Economy refuted such claims saying that the Department of Tourism has already prepared the procedures. Furthermore, it is best aware of the gaps in licensing process. Minister of Economy Evaldas Gustas emphasised that there is no legal act that would prevent the Department of Tourism from implementing the regulations which it itself established. Moreover, similar practice exists elsewhere.

After two major travel agencies went bankrupt this year, the Ministry of Economy undertook to fundamentally tighten the supervision of tourism sector. Minister Gustas said that amendments to the Law on Tourism are being urgently prepared. A guarantee fund should be established, insurance amounts will be increased and the Tourism Department's functions will be widened.

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