Muscat – In a push to boost marine tourism, Muscat hosted the Oman Tourism Conference on Monday. Over 100 industry experts, including hoteliers, engineers and artists from the region and India, convened to discuss the future of marine facilities in the sultanate. 

Held under the patronage of H E Azzan bin Qassim al Busaidi, Undersecretary for Tourism in the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, the conference focused on enhancing infrastructure – including water taxis – and developing collaborative strategies to elevate Oman’s tourism sector.

The event highlighted successful case studies from cities like Mumbai, Kochi and Dubai, demonstrating the positive impact of well-planned marine tourism infrastructure developed through public-private partnerships. Experts at the conference presented examples showing how strategic planning and cooperation have boosted tourism and revenue in these cities, providing a model for Oman’s initiatives.

Davis Kallukaran, Managing Partner at Crowe Oman, emphasised the potential for significant advancements in Oman’s tourism industry, given its rich cultural heritage and beautiful natural landscapes. “Oman is blessed with a diversified topography and a vast stretch of coastline, which if equipped with proper sea travel and entertainment facilities, could see massive progress,” he stated.

Echoing the opinion, Jeevan Sudhakaran, owner of Samudra Shipyard in Kochi, India, noted that the conference was a pivotal platform for facilitating dialogue and innovation. “With strategic focus on enhancing marine facilities and fostering partnerships between public and private entities, Oman can position itself as a premier tourist destination, offering unique experiences that highlight its natural beauty and cultural heritage.” 

A highlight of the conference was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between West Coast Marine from Mumbai and Mohsin Haider Darwish to develop floating jetties in Oman. These jetties are envisioned to serve multiple functions, catering not only to tourists but also to local fishing communities.

Samir Messaoudi, General Manager of Sheraton Oman Hotel, praised the collaborative nature of the conference and the tangible benefits it promises for the tourism and hospitality industries. He highlighted the potential of integrating art exhibitions and installations at coastal and marine locations, which would add aesthetic value and deepen cultural richness of Oman’s tourist sites.

This meet marked a crucial step for Oman in its efforts to harness its coastal resources to boost economic growth and cultural visibility, making it a focal point for marine tourism in the near future.

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