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Omran hosts visit of WTTC President and CEO to Oman

Julia Simpson, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), recently visited Oman
Julia Simpson, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), recently visited Oman

MUSCAT: Julia Simpson, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), has concluded her historic strategic visit to Oman, held from February 6 - 9, 2024.

This visit, hosted by Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran Group), an affiliate member of WTTC, marks a turning point in global tourism, underscoring Oman’s rapid development and strategic focus in the sector, perfectly aligned with WTTC’s vision for sustainable growth.

Tourism growth and economic impact in Oman

Under the guidance of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, in partnership with Omran Group and key stakeholders, Oman’s tourism sector has achieved unprecedented growth, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

In 2023, the country welcomed a total of four million visitors.

This growth significantly contributes to the national economy, aligning with Oman’s Vision 2040 economic plan, which targets raising tourism’s contribution to GDP from 2.6% to 6%-10%.

Omran Group’s strategic role

As the country’s primary driver in tourism development, Omran Group, valued at nearly $1.5 billion and managing over 4,000 hospitality keys, is pivotal in shaping Oman’s tourism future.

The Group’s strategy integrates economic growth and diversification, respecting and harmonising with Oman’s rich cultural and natural heritage.

Omran Group’s approach encompasses independent operations, collaborations with government, private sector, SMEs, and local communities, focusing on positive environmental and societal impacts and preserving traditional culture and values.

Julia Simpson, during her visit, praised Oman’s significant progress in tourism, driven by Omran Group’s strategic initiatives, which aligns with WTTC’s principles of sustainable and inclusive growth in global Travel & Tourism.

Additionally, Dr Hashil al Mahrouqi, CEO of Omran Group, emphasised the Group’s commitment to the National Tourism Strategy 2040, focusing on nurturing a skilled workforce and promoting sustainable tourism development.

During her visit, Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO said: “It has been an absolute pleasure discovering this beautiful destination which continues to attract travellers from around the world. Last year, we saw a significant boost in international arrivals, up by a third on the previous year, highlighting Oman’s truly global appeal.

“Our recent Economic Impact Report forecasts that Oman’s Travel & Tourism sector will grow four times faster than the national economy over the next 10 years. The National Tourism Strategy 2040 will support the sector’s significant economic growth.”

Future prospects and international engagement

The future of Oman’s tourism sector is promising, with an anticipated annual growth of 7.4% from 2023 to 2027. Ranked among the top 20 global destinations in 2023, the country is poised to elevate its global presence further.

As the Official Guest Host Country at ITB Berlin 2024, Oman, through Omran Group’s participation, is set to showcase its growing tourism potential on the world stage.

This strategic participation and visit by Julia Simpson, also opens avenues for exploring potential collaboration with WTTC to host one of its prestigious events in Oman, further reinforcing the Sultanate of Oman’s position as a prominent player in the global tourism arena.

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