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500,000 jobs in the tourism sector by 2040

Oman targets 500,000 tourism Jobs by 2040 with women in focus, says government official
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MUSCAT: The Sultanate of Oman seeks to create 500,000 jobs in the tourism sector by 2040, which will include a substantial percentage of women employees, it was revealed at the Arabian Travel Meet (ATM).

Speaking at the Middle East Tourism Investment Session, Dr Lubna bint Bader bin Salim al Mazroeyah, Manager, Economic Diversification Investments, Oman Investment Authority, said, “When the Ministry of Tourism was established in Oman in 2004, the first Minister of Tourism was a woman. Our target is to create 500,000 jobs in Oman tourism by 2040 and to further strengthen the tourism sector. We are implementing new education, training, and employment initiatives for this. We have a dedicated Human Capital department that is overseeing all of the needs of the sector and this department is managed mostly by women,” she added.

"The Oman government established the Oman Tourism College (OTC) in 2001. When the facility first opened, there were around 80 female students and this number has risen to 400 in 2023. Women now work across several areas of the local tourism industry with roles in hotels, airlines, restaurants, and tours," Dr Lubna added.

She further said that tourism is a dynamic and multidisciplinary industry with exciting opportunities to pursue.

“The nature of the work in the sector gives you the opportunity for personal development, as well as to develop interpersonal and technical skills that will help you with your career growth – and to find your competitive edge," she pointed out.

According to the UN World Trade Organisation (WTO), women make up 54 per cent of the workforce in tourism globally and almost a quarter of tourism ministers are women.

It was revealed that the profile of investors in the GCC is much more long-term than in other markets around the world.

Nicolas Mayer, Global Tourism Leader PWC, said, “In Saudi Arabia, there is an acceleration of not just hotels and rooms, but the creation of entire destinations which entails a number of different asset classes, be it in entertainment, human capacity building or experiences. The tourism industry is seen as a transformational sector when it comes to meeting sustainability goals and the sustainability aspect is now front and centre when it comes to investment in the Kingdom.” In terms of the challenges that sustainability presents to the tourism industry, aligning green policies across the public and private sectors was highlighted as a priority.

Global cooperation across countries is also vital as industry players work towards a common sustainability goal. Globally, tourism is the fastest-recovering industry since the pandemic, but growth has to be in harmony with sustainability.

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