Tuesday, March 21, 2023 | Sha'ban 28, 1444 H
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Opportunities in the post-pandemic Omani tourism sector

The Omani government is actively promoting the country as a tourist destination and has invested in infrastructure and tourism development to attract more visitors. The Ministry of Tourism is also working to diversify the country's tourism offering, with a focus on eco-tourism, adventure tourism, and cultural tourism. This growth in tourism also presents opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to gain from the tourism industry, particularly in areas such as local food and beverage, transport and accommodation, and tour guiding services.

As a former resident of Oman, I can attest to the country's beauty and richness in culture that draws visitors from all over the world. From the deserts and mountains to the beaches and wadis, the natural landscapes here are truly breathtaking. According to the Ministry of Tourism, Oman received 4.8 million visitors in 2019, a steady increase from the previous years.

It's worth noting that the data of the number of visitors and the revenue breakdown by sector are from 2019, as that was the nearest dataset available that was not influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the pandemic, Oman continues to be one of the preferred tourism destinations in the GCC, and with the continued efforts of the government to promote the country and invest in infrastructure, Oman has the potential to grow its tourism attractiveness in the next few years.

Oman's government is striving to diversify its tourism offering, with a focus on eco-tourism, adventure tourism, and cultural tourism which will increase the attractiveness of Oman as a tourist destination. Additionally, Oman's safety and stability compared to other countries make it a more desirable destination for tourists.

Places such as the Jabal Shams National Park and the Oman Dolphin Reserve offer a chance to see the local wildlife and appreciate the country's natural beauty. When I family and friend visiting I enjoyed taking on hikes, camel trekking, and dune bashing, which are all popular activities there. The adventure tourism sector has been growing in Oman, accounting for around 14% of the total tourism revenue in 2019. A specific attraction within the adventure tourism is the desert safari, where visitors can experience the thrill of driving through the desert, camping under the stars and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Oman's cultural heritage is also something that should not be missed. The country has a rich history dating back to ancient times and visitors can explore this through visits to museums, forts and traditional markets. I always took the opportunity to show visitors around my city, the traditional arts and crafts, and the hospitality of Omani people. Cultural and heritage tourism accounted for around 20% of the total tourism revenue in 2019.

For those looking for luxury, Oman offers a range of luxurious resorts and five-star hotels. These resorts offer visitors a range of amenities including spas, golf courses, and fine dining. The country has also been focusing on eco-tourism, which accounted for around 10% of the total tourism revenue in 2019.

Even though I am not currently living in Oman, I miss the country and I always recommend it to visitors as a destination worth visiting. With its stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and luxurious resorts, Oman has something to offer everyone, including the exciting experience of a desert safari.

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