‘Tourism sec­tor grows 6.8%’

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

Oman jumped to the eighth po­si­tion in the Travel and Tourism Com­pet­i­tive­ness In­dex 2019 re­leased by the World Travel Fo­rum. This is seen as the big­gest progress in the Mid­dle East and North Africa re­gion.

The tourism sec­tor is mov­ing swiftly to achieve the am­bi­tious goals of the Oman Tourism Strat­egy. It is en­hanc­ing its role as one of the im­por­tant pil­lars of the na­tional econ­omy, as re­flected in the in­ter­na­tional data and reports about the prepa­ra­tion of the tourism in­fra­struc­ture.

This is be­ing done through op­ti­mum util­i­sa­tion of the rich po­ten­tial of the Sul­tanate of Oman and pro­mo­tion of its tourism prod­ucts to pos­i­tively re­flect in the form of in­creased num­ber of tourists com­ing here and an­nual growth in the sec­tor.

The value added to the tourism sec­tor wit­nessed an in­crease of 6.8 per cent to reach RO789mn at the end of 2018, com­pared to RO738mn in 2017. The sec­tor’s con­tri­bu­tion to the Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct (GDP) reached 2.6 per cent.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Com­pet­i­tive­ness Of­fice, this con­sid­er­able progress and im­prove­ment in most of the re­port's in­di­ca­tors, in­clude en­vi­ron­ment, pol­icy and con­di­tions for travel and tourism, in­fra­struc­ture, nat­u­ral and cul­tural re­sources - a re­flec­tion of the gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts in the di­rec­tion.

Oman also jumped 38 po­si­tions in the Human Re­sources and La­bor Mar­ket In­dex from 103rd po­si­tion in 2017 to reach 65th po­si­tion in 2019. This be­came pos­si­ble due to the con­tin­u­ous at­ten­tion given to human re­sources, their train­ing and other in­cen­tives of­fered by the Sul­tanate of Oman. This has brought pos­i­tive im­pact on the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment.

In in­fra­struc­ture, the sul­tanate ad­vanced eight po­si­tions in the in­dex of air trans­port in­fra­struc­ture to oc­cupy the 49th po­si­tion glob­ally with 3.4 points, re­flect­ing the progress made by the sul­tanate in the devel­op­ment and mod­erni­sa­tion of air trans­port in­fra­struc­ture.

The mod­erni­sa­tion of the Mus­cat In­ter­na­tional Air­port and in­creased des­ti­na­tions of the na­tional car­rier and im­prove­ment of its ser­vices has also helped Oman in this achieve­ment. The coun­try also went up by 13 po­si­tions to reach 34th po­si­tion in the world in the in­dex of the land and port in­fra­struc­ture.

From the an­gle of po­lit­i­cal and other en­abling con­di­tions for tourism and travel, the sul­tanate has pro­gressed in the sub-in­dex of visa re­quire­ments by 78 po­si­tions to oc­cupy 44th po­si­tion in the world from 122 in 2017.

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