Tourist arrivals to see major growth with new visa rules

Muscat: With the new visa rules, tourist arrivals to the Sultanate in the coming months will witness further growth, said Ahmed bin Nasser al Mehrzi, Minister of Tourism.

“Citizens from many countries will now be able to take benefit of the ease in visa rules, which on the other hand, will give a boost to the inbound tourism”, the minister said on the sidelines of Oman Food and Hospitality Exhibition on Monday.

The Sultanate recently eased its visa regime with Russia, Iran and China, allowing their citizens to get tourist visas without having an Omani sponsor.

Citizens from these countries need to apply for their Oman entry visas via the online portal as the authorities move to phase out visa on arrival desks at airports.

“The decision along with launching of charter flights between Salalah and Moscow will increase the number of tourists visiting the country”,
Al Mehrzi said.

It is a positive sign that Salalah is emerging as a favourite destination for tourists from these countries, the minister said.

“With the opening of more avenues such as the Russia, the tourism activity will significantly increase in Dhofar. The first chartered  flight from Moscow landed at Salalah
on Monday with 300 passengers”, he said.