Package to boost small, medium enterprises in tourism on cards

Muscat: The Ministry of Tourism is working to facilitate setting up small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism sector. It is also providing all support to the youth projects in the Sultanate. These tourism SMEs are expected to improve the local economy and provide job opportunities for citizens. This will be possible by promoting these enterprises locally, internationally and regionally in the tourism exhibitions. The Public Authority for SMEs Development (Riyada) has registered 364 enterprises in the tourism sector. These SMEs help to boost tourism in the Sultanate and attract tourists from across the world.
Musallam al Nabhani, Director of the Tourism Initiative and SMEs Support, said that the role played by the Ministry of Tourism in supporting SMEs in the tourism sector was very important. It is creating an environment in which SMEs get the support they require for their growth, sustainability, competition and for facing challenges of the sector. It is also coordinating with the government and private financing organisations to make it easy for the SMEs to get finances for their tourism projects. It is also coordinating with the concerned authorities with the ministry in issues like procurements and tenders. All these efforts are made to provide support to the SMEs and getting them some work, as well as in sales and purchase of local products produced by them. The ministry is also conducting a follow-up of the procedures regarding tourism licenses for these SMEs.
“About the nature of the initiatives supported by the ministry, in general, are those which are economically feasible for the local society and the country. The ministry also develops initiatives, which support the local society and the tourism sector of the Sultanate,” Al Nabhani said.
He further said that the Ministry of Tourism was preparing a package of support programmes for SMEs. With the efforts of the ministry and in partnership with the Public Authority for SMEs Development (Riyada), programmes are being introduced, which will improve and develop the skills of owners of the enterprises required for preparing feasibility studies, modern management of projects and marketing.
Riyada is working with the ministry to support the activities of SMEs in the area of tourism. Sultan al Maawali, Director of Marketing and Events at Riyada, said that 364 tourism SMEs were registered with Riyada till the end of January.
Al Maawali added that the cooperation of Riyada with the Ministry of Tourism and other stakeholders to develop the sector represented in providing the necessary support for the establishment of SMEs. Riyada also provides several technical programmes for owners of these enterprises, for promotion of their products and services inside and outside the Sultanate. It also provides incubators for emerging enterprises in their first three years to ensure they are successful. Riyada also provides them with appropriate working environment during the initial years of the project, and help them in completing the technical and administrative works at a nominal cost, so that the owners of the project give full attention to the work. It also gives training and skill development opportunities, guidance and advice to the owners of tourism and other SMEs.
Riyada also supports these tourism SMEs and initiatives to participate in the national and foreign exhibitions to help them in the promotion and marketing of their services and utilising the opportunity to enter into partnerships. For this purpose, it books space for the owners of the SMEs in the exhibitions. The fees are paid by Riyada itself. For these spaces, there is an announcement made by Riyada on social media. The advertisement also mentions the objectives of the exhibitions, as well as terms and conditions for participation. Riyada participates in international tourism exhibitions every year, particularly in those which are held in Berlin, London and Dubai. In these international exhibitions, the Ministry of Tourism represents the Sultanate of Oman. — ONA