The Sultanate of Oman’s Ministry of Tourism announced that its pavilion featuring landmark cultural heritage and natural tourism spots are attracting huge interests from thousands of visitors at the Riyadh Travel Fair 2018, taking place at Al Faisalah Tower Hotel until April 13, 2018. The Ministry noted the positive response from visitors reflect the country’s strategic edge as an ideal holiday destination for Saudi Arabia and other GCC markets, further boosting its efforts to surpass its achievements in 2017 which recorded more than 1.59 million tourist arrivals.
The Ministry noted the prominence of the Sultanate’s pavilion which displays major new tourism and hospitality projects. Oman has a wide array of initiatives being developed to further enhance the country’s top-rated attractions and provide a distinctive experience to regional and international travelers. The initiatives are in line with the ‘Oman Tourism Strategy 2040’ which targets to attract 11 million regional and international tourists.
The country’s presence at the event has taken place at an opportune time when the Sultanate is witnessing a massive boom in the hospitality sector with more branded hotels opening in Muscat such as the Crowne Plaza Hotel at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center, Centara Muscat Hotel, Somerset Panorama, Grand Millennium and Sheraton, Kempinski Hotel, Sundus Rotana & Mysk Al Mouj by Shaza Hotel, among others. Latest additions in other parts of Oman include Salalah Gardens Hotel, Al Baleed Salalah Resort by Anantara, Fanar Hotel and Residences, Juweira Boutique Hotel, Sifawy Boutique Hotel in Dhofar governorate, Alila Jabal Akhdar, and Jabal Akhdar Resort by Anantara in the Governorate of A'Dakhliya.
Saleh Al Khaifi, Director of Tourism Awareness Department, MOT, said: “The success of our participation in the largest travel and tourism event in Saudi Arabia has been very encouraging, which reflects Oman’s position as a leading tourism destination known for its natural heritage, cultural, and historical landmarks. In this year’s edition of the Riyadh Travel Fair, we are focusing on the distinctive features of our tourism development initiatives and hospitality projects. These efforts are aimed at providing amenities and convenience for a steadily growing number of tourists visiting Oman, especially from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. Through these projects, we hope to meet the sector’s current and future needs as part of our goal to strengthen the Sultanate's leadership globally."
Al Khaifi added: “The Sultanate enjoys exceptional tourism elements that make it an attractive venue for recreation among Saudi tourists. The government remains committed to implement major plans, promotional programs and development projects that will boost tourism-related activities and increase the sector’s economic contribution as we target to bring in 10 per cent share in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2040. Participating in the exhibition is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the continuous developments in Oman including the latest luxury facilities in Muscat, Dhofar and all other governorates, as well as the introduction of the e-Visa service available exclusively online following the Sultanate’s e-transformation initiatives.”
The Sultanate has started issuing visit visas electronically through evisa.rop.gov.om. The new electronic system promotes efficiency and easy access aimed at facilitating visitors’ applications. The Ministry of Tourism’s pavilion at the Riyadh Travel Fair 2018 also features leading local travel and hospitality providers such as the Arabian Experience, Jabal Al Akhdar Resort by Anantara, and Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara.