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Oman seeks to woo tourists from Qatar

«السياحة العُمانية» تروّج لمزايا زيارة السلطنة

DOHA: Oman is eyeing to attract more tourists from Qatar through marketing cooperation and activating joint projects between the two countries, a senior official from Oman’s Ministry of Tourism has said.

Speaking to local media on the sidelines of Oman Tourism roadshow on Sunday, Haitham Al Ghassani, Assistant Director General of Promotion for Events & Tourism Awareness, said the Sultanate has been witnessing increase in inbound tourism in recent years.

“Over 1.5m tourists from all over GCC visit Oman in a year. Last autumn season, tourist arrivals from the GCC reached almost 800,000 compared to nearly 600,000 the year before, so we had very good increase. More than 6,000 Qataris visited Oman during the autumn season of last year and we are here to increase that number,” Al Ghassani told reporters.

“The good thing is that there is an existing cooperation between Qatar and Oman with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2015. There is also the Oman-Qatar joint visa which enables tourists, who are on a list of certain nationalities, to travel freely between Oman and Qatar; we are hoping to increase the number of nationalities on that list,” he said.

Al Ghassani expressed optimism activating the MoU would boost tourist arrivals in Oman and Qatar.

“There is already coordination between both sides and there might be exchange of official visits to activate the MoU and increase the numbers in both destinations. We are also planning to have marketing coordination,” he said, adding the presence of three airlines connecting the two countries including Oman Air, Qatar Airways which has increased frequencies to Omani destinations and Salam Air which just opened its first Doha office in Doha is an advantage.

He said Doha was the first stop of the series of roadshows to several GCC cities to promote Oman as a key tourist destination for travelers from the region.

The Ministry-organized road shows this year formed part of its core strategy to strengthen its partnership and cooperation with stakeholders at the Marriott Marquis City Center Hotel in Doha to promote introduce the latest developments, including the opening of new hotels this year, in Oman’s tourism industry. The Ministry also took the opportunity to promote Oman as an ideal venue for international conferences as well as the growing incentive tourism segment in the Sultanate.

“The Sultanate is a diverse and rich nation with so much to offer discerning Qatari tourists. Oman, particularly Salalah, provides visitors with world-class tourism experiences that are unique to our country. Our roadshow was launched to acquaint Qatari citizens with Oman’s tourist spots so that we can encourage them further to visit and explore the beauty of the Sultanate. We have many exciting things to offer to all types of travelers all year round so we hope that they will make Oman part of their travel plans. Through our roadshows in Qatar and other Gulf countries, we are confident that we are making a quantum leap in our efforts to draw 11 million visitors to Oman by 2040. We reiterate our commitment to further promote the local tourism industry and make the Sultanate globally competitive,” said Al Ghassani.

The Sultanate boasts more than 21000 hotel rooms to date. About more than 400 hotels, including new ones that opened from January to August 2018, are presently operating in the country.

By Raynald C Rivera I The Peninsula

نظمت وزارة السياحة العمانية، أمس الأول، حلقة عمل الدوحة، وذلك في إطار سلسلة جولاتها الترويجية لتعزيز مكانة السلطنة بوصفها وجهة سياحية مثالية للسياح من مختلف الدول في المنطقة.

وبهذه المناسبة، قال السيد هيثم بن محمد الغساني، مدير عام مساعد للفعاليات والوعي السياحي في الوزارة: «تزخر السلطنة بكثير من المعالم السياحية الجاذبة والمقومات الغنية، التي تعمل بشكل كبير على تلبية احتياجات الزائر القطري».

وأضاف: «يساهم تنظيم هذه الجولة الترويجية في الدوحة في جذب مزيد من الزوار القطريين، لخوض تجارب جديدة، والتمتع بجمال طبيعة السلطنة، ونحن نحرص على تقديم أفضل ما لدينا من عروض وفعاليات مميّزة».

ولفت إلى أن السياحة في سلطنة عمان تحقق نحو 4% من الناتج الإجمالي المحلي الآن. لافتاً إلى أن الوزارة تسعى إلى استقطاب 11 مليون زائر بحلول 2040.

ويمثّل وفد سلطنة عمان عدد من المسؤولين في الوزارة، بالإضافة إلى شركات السفر والسياحة، بجانب عدد من الفنادق، حيث اجتُمع مع مجموعة واسعة من الشركات ووكالات السفر والسياحة المحلية.

وتحتضن السلطنة أكثر من 21 ألف غرفة فندقية موزّعة على أكثر من 400 فندق.;

Oman seeks to woo tourists from Qatar

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