Oman targets 12m tourists by 2020
Dubai, February 13, 2012
Oman received some 1.6 million tourists in 2010 and the Sultanate’s Ministry of Tourism aims to increase this figure to an ambitious 12 million per annum by 2020, said the organiser of an upcoming travel event in Dubai.
“Such aspirations clearly show the country’s goal to develop as a major tourist and business destination,” added Mark Walsh, Group exhibition director of Reed Travel Exhibitions, which is organising the Arabian Travel Market from April 30 to May 2 at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Consistent with Oman’s bullish forecast for tourism and its bold infrastructure strategy, online visitor registrations for ATM from Oman have risen 131 per cent while the number of visitors interested in buying products and services from the Sultanate is up 109 per cent.
Muscat’s cruise ship passenger arrivals sailed past 230,000 in 2010/2011 from just 44,000 in 2007. The Ministry of Tourism expects this number to exceed 300,000 by 2015.
Meanwhile, 2010 saw a record 2.08 million passengers arriving at Muscat International Airport, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Elsewhere, European pre-registrations for the event have risen 94 per cent. The number of tourists visiting the Middle East is expected to grow by up to 5 per cent this year following an 8 per cent decline last year, according to a recent report by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
There were an estimated five million fewer international tourist arrivals last year, down to 55 million, due to the turmoil in some of the region’s countries, UNWTO said.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai and approaching its nineteenth year, Arabian Travel Market has grown to become the largest showcase of its kind in the region and one of the biggest in the world.
Last year 2,232 exhibitors covering floor space of just under 20,000 sq m attracted more than 22,000 attendees.
The line-up for this year’s Arabian Travel Market will bring together annual favourites and a number of brand new events including the inaugural UNWTO regional tourism ministers’ conference and the WTM Vision forum, which will focus on Middle East travel trends and the online travel market.
Covering the entire week, the popular Seminar Theatre series of sessions will address industry hot topics from developments in the aviation sector and hotel branding to Sharia-compliant travel.
The all-new Tech Theatre is a dedicated platform that provides an opportunity to gain invaluable insight into leading edge industry-related technologies including social media and GDS.
For the second year running, Arabian Travel Market will once again host its own unique industry version of The Apprentice to uncover the best emerging regional talent.
Other regular features include the New Frontiers Award, which recognises outstanding contributions to tourism development in the face of overwhelming adversity, and the perennially popular industry Careers Day will wrap up the week. – TradeArabia News Service