Oman eyes leisure & luxury biz

Saada Abdullah Saif Al Harthi, Director for Business Development, Oman Tourism, emphasises on their collaborations and initiatives for 2024, and outlines strategic plans aimed at enhancing Oman’s appeal to leisure and luxury travellers.

Janice Alyosius

Sharing the roadmap for Oman’s tourism’s future, Saada Abdullah Saif Al Harthi, Director for Business Development Department, Oman Tourism, says that their focus is on expanding Oman’s allure as a top destination for leisure and luxury travellers. “Our strategic plans for the upcoming years are aimed at further boosting Oman as a top tourist destination for leisure and luxury travellers. India is one of the top source markets for us. In fact, it is second on the list after GCC. Last year has been exceptionally well for us, as Indian tourists visiting Oman surpassed the remarkable milestone of half a million. Building on this success, our goal for the coming year is not only to maintain this momentum but to exceed it through a range of diverse activities,” she shares.

Looking forward to 2024, Saada emphasised on the commitment to not only maintain but surpass the momentum achieved in the previous year. “Last year, we joined forces with the leading trade partners to boost destination awareness and arrivals. This year, our plan is to expand these collaborative marketing initiatives. We aim to do more joint collaborations with trade partners from pan India, including tier II and III cities,” she says. “We also have exciting plans for mega events in Oman, which is being designed to showcase the diversity and richness of our destination. Additionally, we are increasing the number of familiarisation (Fam) trips tailored for both media and trade partners. These trips will provide firsthand experiences of Oman’s beauty,” she adds.

Oman tourism has organised several initiatives to directly engage with prospective travellers. Their emphasis is on utilising online platforms and implementing digital marketing strategies to raise awareness among a broader audience. “In essence, 2024 is set to be a dynamic year for us, marked by expanded collaborations, captivating events, increased Fam trips, and a strong digital presence, all with the aim of fortifying our position in the Indian market and beyond,” she shares.

Saada addresses the concerns regarding visa procedures. “It is no challenge for Indians to get the visa for Oman. Our official website, the Royal Oman Police, serves as the platform, through which trade partners can efficiently apply for visas at a nominal fee. Typically, visa approvals are processed within a swift two-day timeframe, and in many instances, approvals are granted on the very same day. If the traveller is holding a sticker visa of USA, Canada, Schengen, UK, Japan or Australia, the person can enter the country for 14 days without any further formalities,” she says.

She also highlights the evolution observed in the travel patterns of Indian tourists visiting Oman.

“There has been a significant shift in the average duration of stay for Indian tourists in Oman over recent years. Traditionally, visitors from India often embarked on brief three-night itineraries to sample Oman’s diverse offerings. However, there has been a notable trend towards extended stays, with itineraries ranging from 3 to 14 nights now gaining popularity. This change reflects Indian travellers’ growing inclination towards more profound exploration and immersion in Oman’s cultural and natural wonders,” she concludes.

 

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