I have closely observed the entire process of organisation of foreign exhibitions. It was a learning opportunity how they are managed in some countries around the world, the volume of efforts made for them and the time they take. I have even noticed that the organisers work round the clock to prepare ground for an exhibition at one place and a tour at another. I felt pity for those who take up such huge responsibilities. The entire process is not that easy as many think. There is lot of hard work in the run-up for an exhibition. Sometimes it takes even months.
These foreign exhibitions, as we have noticed at International Tourism Börse (ITB) Berlin 2019, play a very important role in highlighting the tourist and cultural components and other aspects of the Sultanate of Oman. It provides opportunities for interaction with international tourist companies and who’s who of this industry, finding ways of partnerships and to work with them. In many areas of work including tourism, bilateral relations, links and friendship cannot be ignored.
Participation in such international exhibitions abroad also opens horizons for direct contact with the world and vis versa. The efforts made by the Ministry of Tourism in this area is laudable. The tourism industry in the country is witness to the benefits it got with such participation for which they get encouragement from the ministry. This is the reason the ministry does not want to lose any such opportunity.
We have seen that even countries which are very small in terms of size and importance make extraordinary efforts during these exhibitions. They find ample opportunity to talk in their language about their tourism potential and advantages of the visit to urge people to visit them. This is how these small countries ensure their presence even beyond their boundaries, across the world. This is one of the most important aspects of participating in such exhibitions. The only cost for availing this benefit and advantage is hard work, investment in promotional campaigns and tapping opportunities for international partnerships.
With this, every individual of the country and the entire nation gets benefit directly or indirectly. This is important for our plans for diversification of sources of income.
During ITB Berlin, I was happy to see that many international tourism companies knew about Oman very well. It means that the ground has already been made due to the efforts of the government of our country. These international companies have listed Oman in their plans and programmes. When going through them, I noticed mosaics of photographs of deserts, sand dunes, mountains, beaches, forts, cities, towns and villages of the country present in their publicity materials impressively. These companies spoke positively about the people of Oman and their hospitality. This reflected the image our country abroad in the tourist industry. This has not been possible if the Ministry of Tourism and its associates had not made any efforts. These efforts were actually part of a well thought about vision made for the country which is made to ensure a brighter future for its people.
The entire world tries to grab the opportunity for participation in international tourist fairs or exhibitions. These countries vie for a better and prominent space at the venue. They do all this to present their tourism products to visitors. They make all efforts to showcase what is there back home in their countries which would interest the tourists of one region or the other.
During the recently concluded ITB Berlin 2019, our beloved Oman had the same experience at a sprawling exclusive pavilion. When this international tourism expo concluded, the participating Omani companies were happy with the benefits they reaped from this event, and the support they got from the Ministry of Tourism.
We are sure that such an experience will be repeated again and again. There will be more promotional campaigns to give a positive image of the country across the world. There will be more interactions with participants at these exhibitions and learning from their experience and exploring opportunities for partnerships and direct contact with people from the targeted markets.