Tourism and Culture minister Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie on Tuesday presented the bill entitled “Tourism Offences (Amendment) Bill 2014” to the assembly.
The minister said the bill seeks to amend the Tourism Offences Act 2003 by increasing the monetary penalties for persons convicted of an offence.
The amended Tourism Offences Act seeks to raise the fine from D5,000 and D10,000 to D50,000.
This was “necessitated by the fact that, over time, the fines have lost their weight of deterrence.”
The bill also seeks to establish a special tribunal to deal with tourism-related offences in an efficient and expeditious manner, according to the minister.
A new section establishing the Tourism Offences Tribunal is added.
The tribunal would try any offence committed within the Tourism Development Area which involves a tourist, and will be presided over by a principal magistrate.
“This is particularly essential as some of the offences under this Act may involve tourist on short stay. It is important that such cases are dealt with expeditiously outside of the schedule of the court system,” the Tourism minister further stated.