Oman’s tourism institutions are awaiting further stimulus and support as part of the public and private sector’s interest in the sector, which is currently one of the five important sectors of the country’s strategy towards economic diversification. The sector was chosen under ‘Tanfeedh’ programme, which was implemented last year.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) recently launched the Oman Tourism Awards Programme in partnership with Al-Roya newspaper to provide more incentives to institutions, individuals and entities working in tourism and related sectors and work towards its development to achieve positive results for the national economy in the future.
Tourism excellence awards, currently adopted by MoT, are among the top events anticipated by the tourism industry. The Sultanate encompasses a wealth of tourism components: culture, geography, environment, logistics and heritage.
Tourism excellence awards enhance the work of tourism companies, hotels and establishments operating in the field of hospitality, lodging and catering as well as other institutions providing tourist and cultural services.
These awards enhance the concept of competitiveness and stimulate the process of development/modernization in tourism sector, and improve tourism services across governorates.
Among the positive outcomes of the programme are raising awareness of the culture of excellence in services and products offered to tourists, as well as introducing best practices to ensuring investment and benefiting from exchange of experience in business management and activities related to the sector.
This acts as a stimulus to firms and individuals in the sector, especially owners of small and medium enterprises, who hope to be given an opportunity to serve the country through institutions currently managed mostly by expatriates.
These institutions can hire more Omanis in the future, enabling them to be the core of the application of standards of excellence in which they can provide superior service and tourism products.
Many countries are ahead of us in granting tourism excellence awards in recognition of their positive impact on tourism and cultural activities and stimulating the development process of foundations, systems and mechanisms, in addition to business development and system upgrades.
Accordingly, “MoT is keen on supporting this promising sector, which is witnessing rapid growth despite global uncertainties caused by climate, environmental, economic and geopolitical challenges,” says Adel bin Almerdas al Busaidi, Tourism Affairs Adviser at MoT, stressing that tourism sector remains a lifeline that flows with returns to many of world’s economies.
According to a report published by World Tourism Organization, there is a six per cent rise in number of tourists worldwide in the first four months of 2018 compared with the same period of 2017.
The growth for 2018 is estimated to be between four per cent and five per cent, with expectations that the Middle-East destinations will gain their past glory.
Many countries continue to support tourism sector, thanks to its ample economic returns. With its tourism companies and logistics, Oman is capable of transforming them into a sustainable and reliable sector that will provide opportunities to citizens, boost annual state revenues due to its political stability and interest in diversifying the market, products and policies to facilitate visas, enhance capacities of aviation sector and promote local tourism.
All these are factors that can play a big role in promoting tourism growth in the next few years. The Sultanate, with its tourist attractions such as museums, airports, beautiful roads, magnificent hotels, cultural institutions and modern communication networks, is also capable of creating new opportunities in the country’s tourism sector in many areas, and achieving a growth rate of five per cent this year and increasing it in the coming years.