Survey explores ways to attract Chinese tourists to Sultanate

MUSCAT, Aug 8 – The Sultanate has been conducting a survey in China to assess prime requirements of Chinese tourists in Oman. The survey, being conducted in cooperation with China Outbound Travel Research Institute (COTRI), seeks to understand the perception of Chinese visitors among different stakeholders in Oman. It also seeks to understand the greatest advantage Oman offers compared with other Middle-Eastern countries to attract Chinese visitors and how to tackle issues that deter Chinese tourists from coming to the country.
The survey has been targeting private organisations, travel agencies/operators, destination management companies, hotels and hotel networks, government organisations, airlines and other stakeholders
who are directly and indirectly connected with travel and tourism in that country.
A spokesperson from Ministry of Tourism said more than 17,000 Chinese tourists visited Oman last year, which is 19.5 per cent higher than the previous year.
“We are expecting more visitors with all the projects and marketing campaigns that promote Oman both as an experience and a destination in China,” said the spokesperson.
Yu Fulong, Chinese Ambassador to the Sultanate, said the facilitation of visa arrangement will ease travel and boost tourism. “There is a huge potential and both sides are working on more exchange of people to each other’s tourist attractions,” he said. With more facilities being provided for people from China to visit Oman, he said the number of tourists would go up further.
Efforts to ease bilateral travel/tourism relations are under way.
With multi-billion Chinese projects planned in different parts of the country, including Duqm, Suhar and elsewhere, the need to travel will be all the more, attracting a part of the 135 million Chinese tourists who spend nearly $261 billion.
Statistics suggest China is the biggest importer of Omani crude oil and the two nations have joint investments in technology, energy and industry fields.
Adding to it is the Oman-China Industrial City that will come up in Special Economic Zone at Duqm at a cost of $10 billion. Thousands of Chinese and Omanis are expected to be directly and indirectly employed in this city.

KABEER YOUSUF