Muscat: The Middle East region is witnessing huge growth in the tourism sector growth in the tourism sector, and therefore it requires huge investment, Salim bin Mohammed al Mahrouqi. Minister of Heritage and Tourism told the Observer ahead of the 50th UN Regional Tourism Commission meeting.

He added, "We want to ensure that we'll have sustainable means and provide accessibility to investors to participate and build the sector that will benefit the countries and their national economies through social benefits and job opportunities. Challenges we face in the sector are opportunities in disguise."

The regional meeting will allow assessing and setting a new direction toward achieving common objectives. There are many challenges, but with challenges comes opportunity. Therefore we're here to create a framework of understanding between us, how we can augment our resources, our knowledge, and our experience leading toward a common objective. So it's an opportunity to exchange views and ideas."

Unified visa

The GCC unified tourist visa has been approved and therefore it will come in time. Yeah. We are meeting regularly and authorities responsible for making this possible through a unified mechanism will come down the road very soon. It will be enforced by the beginning of next year, the minister said.

Promoting the Sultanate of Oman abroad

On promoting the Sultanate of Oman and the lack of enough knowledge about the country in some markets, the minister said, "We have not done enough. And therefore the plan is to promote Oman in Spain and other countries, and connectivity is an issue. But there are ways and means to find a solution. Recently, the Brazilian Minister of Tourism was here in Oman, and we spoke about how we can work together. We have plans to approach and open new markets away from traditional markets that supply tourists to Oman. We need to focus on the Far East, among others. We need to see many, many tourists coming to Oman as an attraction."

Local Experience

The Minister said that the Sultanate can offer tourists a slice of history, geography, natural landscape, adventure, culture and heritage, and more. " It is the best time to be here in winter while the the southern part of the country is a destination all around the year. Tourists coming to Oman will find quality, experiences and plenty of choices. Tourists can get in contact with Omanis at different levels and therefore that is an asset by itself. Tourists are looking now for experience and direct contact with local communities, which is possible in Oman."

2022 © All right reserved for Oman Establishment for Press, Publication and Advertising (OEPPA) Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (