MUSCAT, Sultanate of Oman – Against a backdrop of regional events that have dinted travel demand to the Gulf, Oman’s Tourism Ministry has refocused its industry marketing strategy. While Oman’s marketing effort will continue to support its traditional source markets, greater priority will be given attracting short-break leisure and MICE business from the GCC and India. The Ministry is also accelerating work on a global awareness campaign to start in late 2011.
Oman Tourism’s Director General of Tourism Promotions said that “the events of recent months has brought our industry together and reinforced the value of the GCC and India markets. Our discussions have highlighted the underlying value of the GCC and India markets especially. The Ministry has also formed the view that it is in the collective interest of all GCC tourism authorities to promote the region in their respective communications to the travel trade and consumers, and to look at coordinated measures like visas that promote intra-regional travel. I think ATM is a valuable platform to spread this message” he said.
Oman’s Ministry of Tourism is encouraging discussion on ways and means of making intra-regional travel more easy, especially to tap the large transit markets travelling through the region’s aviation mega hubs.
Director General Al Mamari said “the growing transit passenger market is relatively unaffected by recent events in the Middle East so in an environment where passenger transit growth outstrips arrivals growth, it is in our common interest to think and act regionally in our communications and to bring forward practical measures to stimulate intra-regional travel” he said.
In the lead-up to ATM, Oman’s Tourism ran a major consumer direct promotion in the UK, partnering with on-line travel agent Lastminute.Com.
Director General Al Mamari said “we used the campaign as a soft launch for our summer campaign with its three components:
” Resorts and hotels;
” The cool climate destinations of the Hajar Mountains, Oman’s East Coast and Masirah Island; and,
” Dhofar/Salalah – THE destination from July to late September when the Khareef transforms Dhofar into a lush green landscape. You will see these elements showcased in the roll-out of our print and web collateral”.
Dhofar/Salalah promotions will be boosted by Oman Air’s non-stop services from Dubai to Salalah starting on 4 May. The Ministry welcome’s the decision to reinstate Salalah services. Dhofar has seen substantial investment in new tourism accommodation in recent years. As well, Muriya’s Salalah Beach Resort now well advanced. The Ministry is working with Dhofar Governorate on a campaign to position Dhofar as a year-round leisure and meetings destination.
The Ministry also ran a major road show to India and hosted a major fam trip from India in mid April.
Director General Al Mamari said “our recent work in the India market has excited our interest and we are looking at a number of initiatives over summer. Also, Indigo Airlines’ decision to start daily services between Mumbai and Muscat from next August is a positive indicator of growing travel demand for Oman”.