Maithaa bint Saif al-Mahrouqiyah, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism met at Muscat Intercontinental Hotel today with members of the campaign of the Arab Centre for Tourism Media (ACTM), which includes more than 25 Arab media men, representing many Arab media specialized in tourist information.
Al-Mahrouqiyah welcomed the members of the campaign, adding that the tourism sector is one of the most promising economic sectors due to the historical, cultural and unique tourist elements in the Sultanate. She indicated the relative contribution of the tourism sector, which stood at 2.4% in 2012. She added that the Ministry's vision is to bring it up to 3% and the plan to achieve that runs as scheduled.
She further said that the goal of this meeting is to discuss the future of tourism in the Arab region, how to motivate tourism among the states of the region, the role of the tourist media in highlighting the tourist potentials of the Arab states and the Sultanate in particular, as well as attracting Asian and western tourists .
She explained that the visit comes at a time when the Sultanate, particularly the Governorate of Dhofar, is witnessing Salalah Khareef Festival, which witnesses a large tourist turnout, especially from the GCC countries, as the rate of visitors rose by 37% in 2013, compared with the last year.She added that the number of tourists to the Sultanate has increased in the first quarter of this year by 16%, including a 9% increase in the number of GCC visitors, in addition to a 7% increase in the operation rate of 4 and 5 star hotels, in comparison with 2012.
Al-Mahrouqiyah pointed out that the Ministry periodically conducts an assessment of the favored type of tourism as the Sultanate seeks to attract certain types of tourism, including family tourism, adventure tourism, and beach tourism. She affirmed that among the Sultanate's goals in tourist sector is a sustainable tourism while preserving the Omani heritage and culture.
On his turn, Hussain al-Mana'ei, Chairman of ACTM said that the meeting aims to promote the enormous tourist potentials in the Sultanate especially as it boasts many tourist attractions and natural features that are rarely found in the Arab region, in addition to the training of the national cadres by their professional colleagues in the tourist media and creating a partnership between ACTM and the Ministries of Information and Tourism in the Sultanate.
He added that the meeting includes media men from all over the Arab region and among the participating countries are Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen and the UAE