75 per cent Omanis travel abroad for vacation
“Also the recent ease in visa processing procedures by some governments to earn more revenue is paving the way for more people to travel to foreign destinations,” he says.
At the same time, the Sultanate is targeting five million international visitors by 2040 compared with the current 1.5 million.
According to Travel News Digest, after a report published by United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the Sultanate is increasing its tourism pitch in countries such as China, Japan, and Korea as it tries to cash in on the booming Asian outbound tourism market.
“We have found that there is a huge tourism potential from China, Japan and Korea. We are studying these markets at this stage and will soon have a strategy to tap tourists from these countries,” the Digest quoted Maitha bint Saif al Mahrouqi, Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, as saying.
She also stated that Oman is also keeping US on their list and they are working closely with national carrier Oman Air.
“These are big markets, we have to do it gradually, and we need to have a connection with the aviation sector in terms of how tourists can get here. Oman has a lot to offer in terms of culture and heritage. These are our focus areas,” Maitha added.
Tourism is expected to generate over 6 per cent of the Sultanate’s annual GDP and provide jobs to 500,000 people with a lion’s share of 75 per cent reserved for Omanis.
The government is looking to turn the Sultanate into a model of sustainable tourism for the entire Gulf region.
They are also targeting foreign investors, particularly from the Middle East, the UK and the USA.