Muscat – In a significant move to bolster the economy and position the sultanate as a premier global tourist destination, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MHT) has earmarked investments worth US$5.9bn for over 360 tourism projects.

The announcement was made at the third edition of the ‘World Travel Week – Middle East’ held at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, on Monday organised by the ministry.

H E Azzan bin Qasim al Busaidi, Undersecretary for Tourism in MHT, underscored the four-day event’s goal of fostering robust partnerships and dialogue between global travel and tourism stakeholders and their Omani counterparts. With 94 international tourism experts and 31 Omani tourism entities and hotels participating, the event underscores Oman’s commitment to becoming a leading destination for tourists worldwide.

According to H E Busaidi, the ministry’s dedication to the National Tourism Strategy 2040 is evident; it aims to nurture tourism through friendly legislation, targeted projects, infrastructure enhancements, capacity development, and the creation of specialised zones for tourism investments.

There is strategic focus on sustainability and responsibility, directing investments worth US$5.9bn towards the development of over 360 projects.

Pointing to the record influx of 4mn visitors last year, H E Busaidi reflected on the sultanate’s diverse appeal to luxury travellers, adventure seekers, nature enthusiasts, cruise passengers, sports enthusiasts and event goers.

World Travel Week – Middle East aims to advance collaborations, innovations in communication and share insights and best practices in the tourism industry. MHT plans to organise familiarisation trips for major international tourism firms to showcase Oman’s attractions and experiences across various governorates.

Elaborating on the event’s objectives, Haitham bin Muhammad al Ghassani, Director-General of Tourism Promotion at MHT, said it seeks to facilitate exchange between companies specialising in adventure tourism, luxury travel and conferences.

“Moreover, we will organise tours for visiting firms to familiarise them with Oman’s tourist sites, offering a comprehensive overview of the sultanate’s unique tourism experiences and premium accommodations.”

Ghassani informed that 14 tourism companies have been selected for familiarisation tours in Dhofar. These tours will cover heritage and tourist sites, including Sultan Qaboos Mosque in Salalah, Al Hosn Palace, Al Baleed Archaeological Park, Land of Frankincense Museum, Jabal Samhan, Wadi Darbat, Sumharam Archaeological Park, Taqah Castle and Kovan Heritage Lodge, with the aim of enhancing the participants’ promotional endeavours for Oman.

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