Oman and China strengthen tourism ties
The Oman Tourism Forum held at the recently concluded Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2022 was a first-of-its-kind forum, launched by Oman’s Ministry of Heritage and Tourism in partnership with China that aims to empower stakeholders of the industry with best practices, expert knowledge, latest trends and more.
TTN spoke to Haitham bin Mohammed Al Ghassani, Director General of Tourism Promotion at the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism in the Sultanate of Oman, about MoUs signed at ATM, shared research Chinese investments and more.
“The Oman Tourism Forum 2022 witnessed the signing of a bilateral memorandum of understanding and cooperation between the Omani and Chinese representatives, where Shabib bin Mohammed Al Maamari, Director General of the National Travel Operator and Beijing Spring Travel Company signed an agreement to enhance cooperation and tourism movement from the Chinese market,” Al Ghassani says.
Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN Group), also participated in Oman Tourism Forum. The participation of the group has resulted in the signing of an MoU by the National Travel and Tourism Operator ‘Visit Oman’ with ‘Beijing Spring Travel Services’, one of China’s leading travel and tourism operators. The MoU’s terms focused on promoting Oman in the Chinese travel and tourism market; in addition to luring inbound tourism from China. Linking the travel and tourism service providers and commercial customers to the local travel and tourism sector, the Visit Oman platform will provide the necessary value-added services to give an impetus to the sector.
“The Oman Tourism Forum 2022 was the first step towards promoting cooperation between Oman and China. This partnership will only pave way for more.
“The Oman Tourism Forum 2022 was the first step towards promoting cooperation between Oman and China. This partnership will only pave way for more”
– Haitham bin Mohammed Al Ghassani
“With an aim to shed light on the most prominent existing and ongoing development projects in the tourism sector, the forum also discussed the latest trends in the global tourism, as well as served as a key base to enhance cooperation and partnership between institutions in the tourism sector across the Sultanate of Oman and the People’s Republic of China,” Al Ghassani says.
China is the largest source country of tourists in the world with the number of tourists increasing from 57 million in 2010 to 169 million foreign tourists in 2019. China is also one of the largest spenders, with tourism expenditures estimated at $255 billion in 2019, which represents one-fifth of global tourism spending, according to the statistics of the World Tourism Organization.
Al Ghassani says: “The tourism sector is one of the main drivers of the economy of the Sultanate of Oman according to the Oman 2040 vision, and the ministry works closely with the government and private sectors to achieve this vision. In line with our goal to achieve Oman Vision 2040, tourism development is the mainstay for attracting international investment to develop the tourism sector by building a diversified and integrated sector that supports local communities and provides employment opportunities for Omani citizens while preserving the traditions and culture of society and preserving the history of Oman.”
Oman recently exempted citizens of 103 countries from entry visas for a stay of up to 14 days, which will serve as a boost to the growing tourism sector in the region.
“Oman’s online platform for travel agents Oman’s first integrated digital platform to serve the regional and international B2B travel and tourism sector with instant confirmation on bookings,” he says.