Oman commits to fully seize tourism’s potential for socio-economic advancement
PR No.: PR 14079
On behalf of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the Deputy Prime Minister of Oman, His Highness Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, has received the UNWTO/World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Open Letter on Travel and Tourism (Muscat, Oman, 10 November 2014).
The government of the Sultanate of Oman recognizes tourism’s important contribution to job creation, heritage conservation and community development, as well as its ability to promote cross-cultural dialogue and understanding among both peoples and nations. This was emphasized by H.H. Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said when receiving the Open Letter on behalf of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, from UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
H.H. Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said expressed the direct support at the highest level of government of the tourism sector, acknowledging tourism’s positive social, cultural and investment impacts. This is of particular relevance considering the Omani Strategy Project for Tourism 2015-45, which includes domestic tourism as one of its fundamental pillars.
During the meeting, ways to further strengthen the cooperation with UNWTO were explored, particularly regarding capacity building for both individuals and organizations in the Omani tourism sector, as well as supporting Oman’s international tourism presence.
Underscoring the country’s rich heritage and archaeology as key tourism assets, UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, commended “Oman’s leadership and UNWTO’s determination to enhance its cooperation with the Sultanate, to further advance its promising tourism potential”.
David Scowsill, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) said; “The short and long term future for Oman’s economy from Travel & Tourism looks really bright”.
International tourist arrivals in Oman reached 1.6 million in 2013, generating 1.2 US$ billion in exports. According to official figures, during the first half of 2014, tourist arrivals grew by 12%, compared to the same period of 2013. Travel & Tourism directly contributes 3% to Oman’s GDP, according to WTTC’s Oman Economic Impact Report 2014. Its direct contribution is forecast to rise by 10.2% in 2014, the third highest increase of the 184 countries which WTTC produces data on.
On the occasion of his visit to Oman, Mr. Rifai also met with H.E. Ahmed bin Nasser Al Mahrizi, Minister of Tourism, H.H. Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture, H.E. Abdullah Nasser bin Abdullah Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower, H.E. Sultan bin Salim Al Habsi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Planning, and Dr. Ali Qassim, Advisor of Research in Royal Court Affairs.
Note to Editors:
The UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter outlines Travel & Tourism’s value as one of the world’s largest generators of jobs, a powerful driver of socio-economic growth and development and a key player in the transformation to the Green Economy. To date, the Open Letter has been received by 69 heads of state and government.
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