Oman’s tourism sector gets a digital boost

Muscat, July 25 – Omantel and the Ministry of Tourism signed a strategic partnership on Wednesday to enable tourists to enjoy a big-data based application that will offer a comprehensive travel experience, including Wi-Fi, at a number of popular forts in the Sultanate. As a leading national company, Omantel plays a major role in supporting e-government and actively participates in building bridges between the private and public sectors. Speaking on the occasion, Ahmed bin Nasser al Mehrzi, Minister of Tourism, said: “It is essential to catch up with latest developments in the telecommunications sector as Oman, through its tourism strategy, tries to meet its target and increase the number of inbound tourists. By offering these facilities, we are helping tourists to only communicate efficiently.

“We also want to simplify the reservations and use of information through travel maps. Tourists will also be able to document their journeys while in Oman, which will significantly help us reach a wider audience.” He said: “We look forward to a greater collaboration that will lead to a further enhancement of current services and bring in new services at various tourist destinations.” Talal bin Said al Maamari, CEO, Omantel, said: “The tourism infrastructure has been developed and marketing strategy enhanced, which has resulted in a number of tourists coming to the Sultanate. As a leading national company, supporting the growth of our nation is a cornerstone of our values.”

Fadi Nasser, GM of ICT division at Omantel, said: “The big data-based application (eConcierge) will allow tourists to plan their journeys beforehand and discover various tourist attractions, activities, beverage and dining options and entertainment events that they can enjoy during their stay. “This application was developed in partnership with Infoline and the National CEO Programme (NCP). Bahla Fort and nine more forts will be equipped with a high-speed Wi-Fi connection.” He added that Omantel has expanded its networks in some of the most visited tourist attractions like Jabal Al Akhdhar and Jebel Shams.

“We have helped the Ministry of Tourism to stay connected with its directorates in various governorates, thanks to the smart solutions that include big data platform and video-conferencing,” Nasser said. Recently, Omantel launched an online platform using big data analytics that allows Ministry of Tourism to monitor traffic behaviour and patterns in Dhofar to enable the ministry with a better planning tool on real-time basis. The platform is in its early stages.

Vinod Nair