Tourism is going hyperlocal, says Ithraa

By Staff Reporter — MUSCAT: APRil 18 – The cheap package holiday, bucket and spade culture and jetting off for two weeks of sun, sand and souvenirs is on the decline, suggests Taleb al Makhmari, Director General, Marketing & Media at Ithraa, Oman’s inward investment and export promotion agency, and organiser of the annual Inside Stories initiative.
Today, there is a new type of tourism, one that could be described as deep travel, it is about getting under the skin of a place.
Tourists seeking out authenticity, real experiences rather than fake culture packages made for the masses.
“It is about the appreciation of local distinctiveness, the idiosyncrasies and the detail, the things that make a place unique and special,” remarked Al Makhmari.
“Tourism is going hyperlocal,” explains Ithraa’s Director General and the topic for the first session of Ithraa’s 2017 Inside Stories season to be held at 7:30 pm, on Wednesday, April 26, at the Public Authority for Civil Aviation in Al Hail North.
Supported by BP Oman, Inside Stories is a series of seven informal evening talks scheduled for 2017 that brings together Oman’s business community and public sector.
Discussions focus on the opportunities and trends that are redefining what it means to be in, and start, a business today.
“Increasingly, today’s tourists are looking for more than just the tick-box attractions, passport stamps and Instagram photos.
They’re after genuine experiences that are memorable,” says Al Makhmari.
The demand for hyperlocal tourism activities is on the rise. Whether it is climbing mountains, crossing deserts, sailing, relaxing on a beach or shopping, tourists want an authentic experience.
In fact, there is a large number of travellers who are looking for offbeat locations to get the local, unique real-life experience, a market worth around $140 billion globally. The Wednesday Inside Stories panel includes: Mazen Khoury, Investment Director, Tourism & Culture, Oman Investment Fund; and Eric Walters, Director, Hud Hud Travels.