SALALAH, Dec 30 – Endorsement for tourism in Oman is very high and its emphasis on archaeology, conservation, natural beauty and suitable climate is attracting nature lovers from around the world. There has always been solid endorsement for Oman at World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) for the destination’s commitment to accommodate rising number of visitors by rolling out several hotels and coming out with new infrastructure projects. The government’s thrust to make tourism a key area of the country’s economic activity is bearing fruits as in 2013 tourism contributed 6.4 per cent to the country’s GDP and that figure is likely to reach 8.2 per cent by 2024.
The trend is supporting the study of eminent researcher Professor Lindsay W Turner, who has done a comparison between major tourist destinations and Oman and has examined the tourism potential in the perspective of other developments world-wide in his study titled ‘Oman tourism: An international perspective on international tourist arrivals.’ Prof Lindsay’s assumption that Oman has potential to emerge as a major tourist hub is corroborated by the NCSI data which suggests that the number of inbound tourists in the country has grown by 40 per cent with 3.2 million visitors in 2016.
“In examining the countries of Asia Pacific, similarities can be identified with several other markets. The conclusion is that for the development of demand for foreign international tourism, it is useful to place the Oman market into a world perspective, and from this position to identify future market size, sustainability and marketing,” stated Professor Lindsay in the abstract of his research paper.
“The trend is in favour of Oman that makes Oman, a small tourism destination on the world scale, but also one that is growing rapidly and there are expectations of strong growth in the near future,” he said.
Professor Lindsay has forecast huge growth in arrival of foreign (non-Gulf country) tourists in Oman. Elaborating further, he says, “Oman is now facing important cross-roads in economic and social development, and needs to determine the path ahead in regard to the level of international tourism development.”