This month the Oman Ministry of Tourism is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its UK & Ireland Office along with its many achievements over the years. The destination increased its visitor numbers in 2012 by 18%, with consistently increased visitor figures from 25,000 in 2003 to 121,528 in 2012. An Oman roadshow wll visit Dublin next spring.
Alison Cryer, Director UK and Ireland, Oman Ministry of Tourism MBR Office, said: “We are delighted to celebrate our 10th anniversary and look back at the growth and all that has been achieved over the last 10 years. We are now looking forward to the future and actively pursuing growth in the destination’s appeal particularly for niche markets including garden tours, bird watching, diving and sailing, kite surfing, climbing, trekking, touring, luxury travel, cruising, and MICE.”
The Oman Ministry of Tourism was the sponsor of the World Responsible Tourism Awards, also celebrating their 10th anniversary, and is keen to promote the destination’s sustainable tourism offerings.
In 2014 Oman’s capital city Muscat will see the majority of growth with over 720 new hotel rooms, with the rest spread evenly across the country. New hotel openings in 2014 include the 400-room Rotana Hotel in Salalah and the Azaiba Hotel, Muscat, an $80 million 5-star project that is expected to be operational by mid-2014.
Omran (the Sultanate’s leading tourism-related development, hospitality management and investment company) is due to open its 2,000-metre hilltop luxury project, the Alila Jabal Akhdar Resort, set to open its doors in January 2014, and the 110-room Khasab Hotel in Musandam is also set to open towards the end of 2013.
Next year will see the completion of a new airport terminal in Muscat with a capacity of 12,000,000 and a new terminal in Salalah with a capacity 1,000,000. Oman is also looking ahead to the launch of a new convention centre in Muscat, expected by 2016.
In 2014, the destination is keen to promote bird watching and scuba diving niche markets and is excited about the forthcoming opening of the Oman Botanical Gardens. The 420-hectare project located not far from Muscat is currently under construction and when complete it will be the largest botanic garden in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Oman Ministry of Tourism recently held its first short film festival and tourism souk in the UK, welcoming nine partners and over 200 travel trade and media guests to participate in the 2013 roadshow. The 2014 roadshow dates have just been announced as 28th April to 1st May and will visit Cardiff, Birmingham, Dublin and South East England.