Oman serious in shifting and establishing effective tourism strategies


Oman has constituted a new committee with representatives from airline companies, travel and tour agencies, and investors in a move to draw more visitors to the country.

The panel will draw up an effective tourism strategy with the goal of maintaining the current flow of holidaymakers to the country and enhance their number, a Tourism Ministry official said. The committee will work in cooperation with the ministry to promote the sultanate in key markets, ensure an accurate portrayal of the current situation in the country, and highlight its main tourism attractions.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), in a recent report, said it expected Oman’s tourism industry to grow from 1.5 percent of total GDP in 2010 to 2.4 percent by 2020. The WTTC report also noted that the contribution by tourism-related activities to the economy was expected to increase from 7.6 percent to 9.2 percent during the same period.

“An enhanced marketing strategy for Oman’s tourism sector will ensure that tourist arrivals in the country remain high over the coming months,” Salem al Ma’amari, Director General of Tourism Promotions, said.

“This should be done on two levels – the delivery to international markets and media of an accurate, clear, and effective message about Oman remaining as safe and welcoming to tourists as ever, and drawing attention to a number of completed or ongoing projects and activities, which brings the experience of natural beauty and indigenous culture in the sultanate to new heights,” he added.

The latest recognition of Oman’s rise in international tourism included the award of the Most Improved Destination Award for 2010 to the Port Services Corporation (PSC) by Dream Cruise World Destinations Magazine. The prize was presented during the Cruise Shipping Conference and Exhibition’ held in Miami recently.

In March, PSC hosted the maiden visit to Muscat by the famous Queen Elizabeth cruise liner. The only other Gulf port included in the vessel’s visit was Dubai.