His Excellency Sheikh Abdulmalik Al Khalili, Oman’s Minister of Tourism said, “This is great news for Oman’s tourism industry and our international travel and tourism trade partners. The government has moved proactively to improve Oman’s competitiveness in stop-over, short-stay and conference tourism. The changes also encourage travel to Salalah and other regional destinations, and conference organizers to consider Oman as an event location.”
In the short-term, the Ministry expects a lift in leisure and short stay visits from the GCC market. Oman Air’s rapidly growing passenger transit market is also of interest to Oman’s tourism operators. For the year ending September 2011, the transit market is estimated at around 787,000 passenger movements and growing at around 19 per cent per year. This includes around 80,100 premium travelers.
Oman is also seeing a boom in cruise ship activity and the new visa arrangements strengthen the case for cruise lines to consider Muscat for crew and passenger exchanges.
“Changes will be welcomed by the global travel and tourism trade. The changes make Oman very attractive for the growing stopover, business and cruise passenger segments – areas of great potential. The changes also open up possibilities for a wide range of trade and consumer tactical campaigns, including our stopover campaign with Oman Air,” said His Excellency, the Minister.
The reforms follow the launch of the Ministry’s Oman global awareness campaign on BBC World television and web sites, the Arab League Tourism Ministers’ declaration of Muscat as Arab Tourism Capital in 2012, and the launch of Oman’s ‘1 Free Night in Oman*’ stopover campaign with Oman Air.
Thursday, March 1- 2012 @ 12:42 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.