Oman must create a unique tourism brand

By Vinod Nair — MUSCAT: March 21 – Oman should create a unique destination brand for itself, liberalise visa rules and focus on tapping tourists from the emerging countries of China, India and rest of the Asia, according to Dr Nasser Saidi, a top Lebanese economist.
Saidi, who previously served as the Minister of Economy and Industry in Lebanon, said the country must be promoted as a brand because some of the geographical features here are not found elsewhere in the region. Oman has much more to offer compared to other neighbouring countries. “One million people from Oman visit UAE, but it should be the other round.”
He said Oman should liberalise its visa regime offering more visas on arrival or online. “Only six countries can enter Oman without a visa while 35 countries can enter UAE without a visa.”
He said Oman should be digitalised with more mobile e-wallet services and cashless payments.
Speaking at the Oman Tourism Investment Conference (OTIC), he said the profile of global tourists has changed with the entry of middle class population into the market from countries in the Asia, while the Middle East traditionally focused on tapping visitors from countries such as the US and Europe.