MHT looking to make Oman an adventure tourism hub
With the objective of attracting adventure enthusiasts to explore Oman’s diverse offerings, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MHT), in cooperation with Omran, will organise the first edition of Oman Tourism Meet on September 27-28 at Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The ministry seeks to develop adventure tourism as it is one of the fastest growing segments of tourism in the world, attracting those wishing to explore adventure activities as well as encouraging eco-tourism and sustainable practices.
The latest global statistics indicate that the global adventure tourism market grew to US$282.1bn in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 15.2 per cent from 2022 to 2030.
‘Oman Tourism Meet will be a great opportunity to meet organisers, developers, researchers and those interested in adventure tourism, as it is one of the tourism products that the ministry wants to develop and meet the aspirations of the domestic and international tourists in the segment,’ the ministry stated.
About the ministry’s efforts to develop adventure tourism, Dawood bin Sulaiman al Rashidi, director of Tourism Product Development in the Directorate General of Tourism Development, said, “The ministry, in cooperation with the concerned authorities, has set a plan to develop adventure tourism, including providing security and safety requirements for workers and participants. This will be done by preparing a legal and regulatory framework for adventure tourism in the sultanate.”
According to Rashidi, the aim is to make the sultanate one of the best destinations in the world for adventure activities. “The ministry has been working with New Zealand and aims to benefit from its experience in organising and managing adventure tourism and creating training programmes, including rescue, first aid and ambulance services.”
The ministry, in cooperation with Omran, has funded a number of projects to develop hiking tracks in Musandam, in addition to a mini oasis project in Wadi Bani Awf in the wilayat of Rustaq to engage in activities such as crossing canyons and climbing mountains.
Of future plans, Rashidi said, “The ministry is currently working on inventorying and evaluating natural sites, caves and wadis to know the requirements in order to ensure the protection and safety of adventurers so that they can enjoy their adventure in a safe way. Efforts are also being made to identify rapid response points for emergency first responders and facilitating easy access to these sites.”
He informed that the ministry issued a decision (No 124/2021) to add organising adventure trips to the list of activities of travel and tourism offices.
In July, MHT and the Ministry of Defence signed a training agreement in the field of adventure tourism in Jabal Akhdar at the Combat Training Centre of Royal Army of Oman.
The aim of the agreement is to make the centre a destination for auditing and training on security and safety systems for engagement in adventure tourism activities in a professional and safe manner.