OTC holds workshop on college strategic plan

MUSCAT: Oman Tourism College (OTC) organised a consultation workshop on Monday focusing on the developments and future trends in the tourism sector.
Key stakeholders in the Sultanate’s tourism sector participated in the brainstorming session held as part of the workshop.
Dr Abdulkarim bin Sultan al Mughairi, Dean of OTC who led the workshop together with Dr Shoba Zachariah, Assistant Dean and other faculty members.
Dr Steven Burns, Director of Quality Assurance and Enhancement, said: “We have been working successfully together with the tourism industry and value the input of our partners. We all create the industry together and determine the industry we have the next decade. We therefore want all tourism stakeholders to be involved in the continuous development of OTC.”
He also gave a presentation on the strategic plan for the college and also highlighted the growth potential of Oman’s tourism industry and the key enabling factors.
The OTC Tourism Strategy 2017-2020 has the vision of making OTC a centre of excellence in tourism education capable of supporting Oman’s ambition of becoming a leading global tourist destination, by developing students’ skills and aptitude that match industry needs.
Noting that globally tourist arrivals doubled over the last decade to reach over 1.1 billion, Dr Burns said the Middle East accounted for almost 5 per cent of this figure.
The Middle East is poised for amazing growth in the future, and by 2032, air traffic to the Middle East from Europe and Asia is estimated to grow by 10 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.
While the Ministry of Tourism has forecast 4.7 million visitors by 2020, and 11.7 million visitors by 2040 to the Sultanate, the country’s tourism industry must examine how it can get those international tourists and whether it can offer what they look for, and focus on developing segments that may be attractive to them. Oman must leverage its strengths in terms of heritage and authenticity and implement the ‘premium demand strategy’ so as to boost tourism.
Dr Burns emphasized that there is huge potential in targeting the Chinese market, particularly the millennials who are great spenders as tourists and   wellness tourism which is expected to grow 10 per cent in the next five years. The growing markets of Europe and Asia hold high potential for Oman’s tourism industry.