The week-long series of roadshows conducted by a high-power delegation from the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism in five major Indian cities evoked an overwhelming response.
The delegation was led by Asma al Hajri, Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism included 10 leading tourism stakeholders from the Sultanate of Oman as well as the flag carrier, Oman Air.
The roadshows covered five key source markets to meet with leading travel trade stakeholders in India to bring Oman strongly back on the itineraries and to introduce innovations. The Oman delegation also met with CEOs of leading travel firms in Chennai to brainstorm about how to promote Oman.
The delegation visited key cities in three regions of India, covering the North with New Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai in the West, and Bengaluru and Chennai in the South.
According to Al Hajri, the roadshows witnessed not just a presentation on the country but also successful business interactions.
‘‘We were pleasantly surprised at the turnout of over 250 agents just in Southern India. This is a positive sign of recovery. India and Oman have always enjoyed strong relations in tourism”, Al Hajri said in a statement.
The pandemic has made people realise the value of travel and experiencing new horizons. Oman is constantly innovating in terms of its tourism products to cater to the ever-evolving Indian travellers,’ she added.
Travel agents expressed optimism about the country and shared views on strategising for positive growth. Oman has always been a favourite in the Middle East for India, not just for the sun and sea but for its abundance of natural beauty, culture, and adventure activities.
The statement issued by the revealed that the number of Indian arrivals into Oman for just the month of July 2022 stood at 36,087, the highest in the last ten years for July. With this, the total number of Indian tourists visiting Oman from January to July 2022 stands at 167,678 visitors.
During the roadshows, Oman presented its unique and experiential attractions such as off-road adventures, forts, and castles, an authentic Omani experience of living in the villages, reliving the land of Frankincense story, and much more.
Oman Air, on its part, informed the Indian travel agents that it had scheduled as many as 48 shuttle flights, including a Boeing 787 Dreamliner that will operate daily between Muscat and Doha during the upcoming Fifa World Cup from November 21 to December 3, with prices starting from just RO 49 for Economy Class and RO 155 for Business Class.
However, passengers are advised to arrive in Doha four hours before the start of a match due to the high frequency of flights each day. All passengers must register for a Hayya card (fan ID) as this is mandatory for travel on all match-day shuttle flights and entry into Qatar.
A no-check-in baggage policy also allows passengers to plan an easy-in, easy-out travel itinerary.
As part of its activities in the South Indian city of Chennai, the Omani delegation also met with the CEOs of key travel trade companies to brainstorm and discuss marketing strategies to better position Oman as a preferred holiday destination among Indian travellers.
According to a press release issued later, the meeting focused on identifying the right target segments, followed by a better understanding of the market realities. With the Indian traveller constantly evolving and looking for new experiences, there was also a need to realign strategies and think outside of the box.
New mediums of advertising were explored, such as social platforms, digitalisation, and the right promotional platforms.
‘‘Every part of India is unique, and that is evident even in terms of our tourism plans. We are constantly looking to reinvent the wheel and present a new experience. The exclusive meeting was insightful from an industry perspective to better understand the Indian traveller and, more importantly, our partners,” Al Hajri told the Indian partners at the meeting.
Several leading travel trade firms in Chennai, including Madura Travel Service, Baywatch Travels, Peekay Tours, Footprint Holidays, Embassy Travels & Tours, and GJ Phoenix Travel and Leisure, attended the meeting.