Hyperlocal in Demand

MUSCAT: Tourism is a major engine for job creation and a driving force for Oman’s economic growth and development will be the topic of discussion at Ithraa’s Inside Stories at the Public Authority for Civil Aviation in Al Hail North on Wednesday, 7 pm. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council data, in 2015 tourism directly created over 107 million jobs and supported directly and indirectly a total of 284 million jobs, equivalent to one in 11 jobs in the world.
By 2026, these figures are expected to increase to 136 and 370 million jobs respectively representing one in nine of all jobs worldwide.
“Most people associate tourism with hourly jobs in the service sector and there’s no doubt that tourism is accountable for thousands of jobs across Oman. But what’s often overlooked are the management jobs that are a part of the sultanate’s growing tourism industry,” remarked Taleb al Makhmari, Ithraa’s Director General of Marketing & Media and organiser of the monthly Inside Stories programme.
Al Makhmari pointed out: “We see hotel desk clerks and doorman, but don’t notice the managers, supervisors, accountants and marketers that work in our hotels and resorts. We see waiters and cooks but don’t notice the team of managers, chefs and supervisors that run a restaurant. We see flight attendants on Oman Air and Salam Air but don’t notice the pilots and engineers that run the two airlines.”
Beyond the direct employment within businesses that serve tourists, the impact of tourism spreads well beyond the traditional definition of tourism.
Many industries exist to support firms within the tourism industry from advertising agencies, accounting firms, florists to local farmers. Oman’s small businesses, particularly those working in the creative industries space, can certainly play a role in helping tourists realise their expectations, as well as supporting the local hotels they stay in and the airlines they travel on.
Wednesday’s Inside Stories is sponsored by BP and supported by Al Mouj Muscat and the Public Authority for Civil Aviation. The panel will be moderated by His Highness Sayyid Dr Adham Al Said, Associate Professor, Sultan Qaboos University and includes Khalid Al Haribi, Deputy CEO Operations, Riyada; Gillian Taylor, Director, Business Development, Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre; Mazen Khoury, Investment Director, Tourism & Culture, Oman Investment Fund; and Eric Walters, Director, Hud Hud Travels.