Oman Tourism reiterates its presence in India, offers new short-term tourist visa
Oman Tourism recently conducted a three city roadshow in New Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The team at Oman Tourism is all set to take the discussions and feedback from the recently concluded roadshow to the next level. Tour operators gave the destination the much needed encouragement and are ready to work closely with the sellers across sectors, namely local agents, DMC, Hotels, attractions are more. The India promotional visit was lead led by Her Excellency, Maitha Saif Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) Oman along with representative partners from the tourism industry and members from Oman Air. Maitha Saif Al Mahrouqi said, “The Indian traveller is in a rapid state of evolution and is looking to be engaged in many ways. We recognise and acknowledge the demand we see from India and other potential markets. Hence, as part of the Sultanate’s National Tourism Strategy 2040, the MoT seeks to introduce the sector’s latest developments, services, projects and facilities of the tourism industry, such as opening the new passenger terminal at Muscat International Airport and launching the Electronic Visa. It also aims to promote the Sultanate’s unique cultural heritage, the pristine environment and terrain diversification that will allow tourists to experience the destination. The objective of our visit is to highlight the various facets of Oman as a destination and to create awareness about the new segments and offerings that the country has to offer. We see India as a promising potential market and have witnessed significant growth over a period of time.”
Since 2014, Oman has witnessed over 31 per cent growth in Indian arrivals. In 2017 alone, Oman received 321,161 Indian visitors, showcasing growth of over 7 per cent in just one year. Commenting on the roadshow, Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, MoT, Oman said, “India represents an important and vast market for Oman given the high percentage of its residents willing to travel and experience new destinations across the world. The roadshow offers us a platform to expose the uniqueness of Oman as a holiday destination from India. Being a short journey, the country offers a diverse landscape and varied activities for the evolved Indian traveller. From luxurious resorts and campsites to exotic scuba diving spots to rustic shopping experiences, Oman has something to offer to anyone who has a quest for adventure and thirst for a distinctive cultural experience.” Further, the tourism board decided to float a new format interactive platform with prefixed meetings gave trade partners and travel agents in the Indian market an opportunity to interact and learn more about the diverse product offerings and experiences that Oman has to offer.
Additionally, the MoT looks committed to enhancing the MICE sector and to help the Sultanate achieve its potential to be a first-class destination for this segment. The Sultanate has seen an increase in business tourism with the recent launch of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in Muscat, which supports international and local organisations in hosting large events. The Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre includes state-of-the-art theatres, conference rooms and four hotels with almost 1000 rooms along with major exhibition halls that can cater to tens of thousands of people at one time. Oman is not only seeing a surge in MICE travel but also a preferred wedding destination for many. Muscat is a well endowed city with modern infrastructure and provides a perfect set up for weddings with various urban world class hotels.
Oman Air, the national carrier is also well connected via direct flights with major Indian cities. Furthermore, to encourage more travellers to visit the country, Oman has recently announced a new short-term tourist visa at 5 Omani Riyal (OMR) equivalent to approximately `940 to visit the Sultanate for a period of 10 days. Indians who hold a valid visa to any one of these countries – USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Japan and Schengen States can avail the Oman visa through an e-visa process by simply logging on to https://evisa.rop.gov.om/ and make the 5 OMR payment on checkout, whereas other Indian travellers can get a sponsored visa by paying 5 OMR plus processing fee through their tour operators.