Surge in Indian tourists to Oman

MUSCAT, FEB 24 – Oman has been seeing a big increase in the number of visitors from India over the past few years, due to an effective marketing strategy and ease in visa procedures. The Sultanate received 3,57,147 Indian visitors in 2018, an increase of 12.37 per cent from 3,17,844 visitors in 2017. In a statement, Lubaina Sheerazi, Oman Tourism’s representative in India, said: “The Ministry of Tourism continues to target double-digit growth in tourist arrivals in 2019 due to several factors.”
The Royal Oman Police in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism has simplified the tourist visa process. Oman Air, which operates to nearly 11 cities in India including double and thrice daily services, seeks to add capacity through new bilateral agreements.
“We want the weekly seats between the two countries to be increased to 60,000 from the current agreement of around 27,000 seats. We are looking at cities like Ahmedabad, Mangalore and Coimbatore and also adding capacities to the existing routes with the introduction of wide-bodied aircraft like the A330s and Dreamliners,” a senior official told the Observer.
The budget airline, SalamAir, too has been in discussions with the competent Indian authorities for services to South India, including Kochi. Speaking to the Observer recently, Mohamed Ahmed, CEO, SalamAir, said: “We still have some formalities to be completed. We are trying for the destinations in South India and Kochi is one of the stations we are aiming for.”
Indian travellers to Oman can get a short-term tourist visa at RO 5 equivalent for a period of 10 days through a tour operator.
Also, Indians who hold a valid visa to any one of these countries — United States of America, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan and Schengen States can avail the Oman visa through an e-visa.
Tourists can also avail a visa for RO 20 with a validity of one month.