Tourism Under-Secretary Maitha bint Saif al Mahrouqiya has said that the selection of Oman to host a tourism forum organised by Travco Travel company in co-operation with the tourism organisation TUI Swiss and a number of Swiss tourism companies represented by about 160 European agents and offices indicates that the Sultanate has implemented all the standards required for such an event, thanks to active promotion by Oman offices in European in general and in Switzerland in particular.
The forum is being covered by a large number of European press personnel and people keen on tourism activities.
In her statement after opening the workshop on 5 of September, Maitha said that the event coincides with the operation of flights to Zurich by national carrier Oman Air, and this in itself is considered as a form of promotion for the Sultanate which will place the country in the global tourism map.
“The European market in general and the Swiss market in particular assume great significance for Oman due to the large number of parties that represent them,” said Maitha, adding that the current meeting is an evidence of such European interest in Oman.
Maitha explained that Swiss tourists take keen interest in Omani beaches, health clubs and hotels and they operate trips to mountainous areas and safaris to desert camps and
other tourism attractions in the Sultanate.
Maitha pointed out that Oman-bound flights from Switzerland up by 118 per cent in 2012 as compared to 2011 figures. Also, 84 per cent of “beyond Oman” flights use Oman Air as the Sultanate is considered an important stopover for international flights and a highly promising market, said Maitha.
Maitha said that German-speaking tourists comprise an important target group which comes in second place among tourists visiting the Sultanate (after Arabic-speaking tourists), making TUI a high-value partner with whom the Sultanate built relations over a number of years, with a continuously expanded rate of maritime and air businesses.
Oman constitutes an exotic destination highly appreciated by TUI and cited in The National Geographic and Lonely Plant magazines among the best “must-see destinations 2012”, said Maitha.
In addition to the opening of new tourism resorts, marinas and hotels adding a thousand rooms, a 2015-2016 tourism development plan includes the opening of Oman Centre for Conferences and Exhibitions, a 3,000-seat international facility which will immensely enhance the Sultanate’s reputation as a tourism hub, said Maitha.