The Omani government recently decided to relax entry visa procedures and reduce fees, in a bid to facilitate travel at a time of a global downturn in the tourism industry. Starting January 5, entry visas to the Gulf sultanate will be issued at airports, at a cost of seven riyals ($2.7) for business visas and five riyals ($1.9) for tourist visas. Gulf nationals will be charged three riyals ($1.1) per visa. Free 24-hour visas will be issued to visitors from docking cruise ships.
“It is important to frequently revise visa procedures taking into account local, regional and international developments affecting the global tourism industry… The Sultanate’s inbound tourism industry will benefit tremendously as a result of the latest confidence-boosting government initiative,” commented Marko Hytonen, general manager of Radisson SAS Hotel Muscat.
“We believe that travelers from Dubai in particular will increase considerably, largely because of its proximity to the Sultanate and also due to its large expatriate population. And on the international front, the extension of the visa on arrival facility to include tourists as well as business people, has been received as a very positive development by major international tour operators,” added Hytonen.
Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts currently operates eight properties in the Middle East and North Africa in Amman, Aqaba, Baku, Istanbul, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat and Sharm Al-Shaikh in Egypt. Three more Egyptian properties in Hurghada, Taba and Al-Quesir are due on line soon. The chain includes 110 hotels in operation and 30 hotels under development in 38 countries.
Radisson Hotels & Resorts and its parent company Carlson Hospitality Worldwide include 750 hotel and resort locations representing 130,658 guest rooms in 63 countries plus six luxury-cruise ships sailing worldwide. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )