MUSCAT: The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism seeks to revitalise the tourism sector in the coming years as one of the targets of economic diversification and one of the priorities of Oman Vision 2040.
The ministry is currently working to encourage tourism investments, expand the opening of tourism representation offices and enhance tourism promotion plans in the target countries, markets most exported to tourists.
In addition, the government seeks to give diplomatic missions an important role in promoting trade exchange and promoting the Sultanate of Oman as a tourist destination and an attractive investment destination. The Sultanate of Oman aims to raise the tourism sector’s contribution to GDP to 5 per cent by 2030.
The sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to rise to about 10 per cent by 2040. The sector’s direct and indirect added value amounted to RO 1.3 billion at the end of 2019 with a direct value of RO 718 million, compared to RO 700 million in 2018.
The ministry is working with Omran Group - the state-owned tourism investment, development and management group - to identify opportunities and projects to increase the sector’s potential, as the value of investment opportunities in the tourism sector during the next twenty years will reach RO 15 billion.
The group inaugurated dusitD2 Naseem Resort Jabal Akhdar, which was built with an investment of RO 24 million, and includes more than 250 hotel rooms and suites.
It also opened an adventure park - first of its kind in the Sultanate of Oman - with an area of more than 800 square metres as part of its plan to develop tourist destinations in the governorates.
The group is managing, operating and employing Bahla Fort and Bahla Oasis in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate to be a sustainable tourist destination to protect and develop the urban tourism heritage.
The group has put forward three investment projects, namely; the implementation of the second phase of the Sustainable Integrated Tourism Project at Yiti, which is characterised by its charming views of the coasts of the Sea of Oman.
The project includes quality tourism and real estate facilities. In addition, Madinat Al Irfan Business Centre project in Muscat, which includes the development of commercial facilities.
An adventure project is set to be established by the group in Musandam Governorate, which includes the establishment of a unique adventure centre, a tourist marina and a hotel. The first phase of this project will witness the opening of a zip-line project, which is the first of its kind in the Sultanate of Oman, offering charming panoramic views. It is expected to open during 2022, forming a starting point to enhance tourism experiences and products in the Governorate of Musandam.
The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism signed seven usufruct contracts to implement various tourism projects. The usufruct pacts were signed to promote investment in the tourism sector in order to provide the tourism sector’s requirements of hotel rooms and facilities.
Notable is a four-star hotel in the Wilayat of Mirbat in the Dhofar Governorate. This hotel will provide 100 hotel rooms and a variety of restaurants. Also planned are five tourist camps in the Wilayat of Bidiya in the North Al Sharqiyah Governorate. It is expected that these camps will offer a total 149 hotel rooms, in addition to providing restaurants and recreational facilities in the camps.
Other contracts cover plans for the establishment of projects in Al Jabal Al Akhdhar in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate, which includes a restaurant, a glass walkway, outdoor seating and a children's play area.