Oman records 17 per cent increase in Saudi passenger arrivals in 2011. The Sultanate of Oman's Ministry of Tourism  has announced it will participate at the Riyadh Travel Fair 2012 , a key networking event for leading travel and tourism companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and many other countries, to be held in Riyadh from 15 to 18 May, 2012.
KSA is a growing tourism market for Oman with the number of Saudi nationals visiting Oman reaching 60,000 in 2011, a 17 per cent increase over the previous year. The Ministry will showcase popular tourist destinations and festivals, as well as Muriya's newly opened resort hotels at Jebel Sifah and Salalah. As well, a number of hotels will open towards the end of 2012 including Best Western in Al Khuwair and Holiday Inn in As Seeb.
The Ministry sees the Fair as a valuable platform for trade and consumer communications, as well as reinforcing Oman's tourism Brand Campaign: Beauty has an address Oman. Tourism is a key growth industry for the Sultanate with international arrivals to Muscat reaching 2.4 million in 2011 (14 per cent higher than the previous year), with GGC arrivals increasing by 27 per cent. Ali Khaburi, Director General of Tourism Promotion at Oman's Ministry of Tourism, said: "Saudi Arabia is a key tourism market from many perspectives. Saudi visitors are growing in number and we think they are also increasing their length of stay.
The market is broadening from business and family segments with short break leisure travel becoming more prominent. We also think Salalah has significant year-round potential for the Saudi Arabian market, and growing demand for travel will lead to non-stop air services between Saudi Arabia and Salalah." Oman's Ministry of Tourism will use the Riyadh Travel Fair to brief the travel trade as well as welcome consumer calls at its exhibition stand. A highlight of the Fair is the year round calendar of events developed to celebrate Muscat's nomination as Arab Tourism Capital 2012.
The Ministry will give a special presentation about the Salalah Tourism Festival  that heralds the start of the 'Khareef' season that turns Dhofar into a lush green landscape. The Salalah Tourism Festival runs from 21 June to 18 July this year. "With so much happening, we look forward to more Saudi families and leisure travellers including Oman in their 2012 travel plans," concluded Director Ali Khaburi. (Follow timesofoman.com on Facebook and on Twitter for updates that you can share with your friends.)