Oman plans to spend $7bn on tourism sector; Minister

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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Oman Minister of Heritage and Tourism, Mr. Salim Mohammed Al Mahrouqi has revealed that several plans have been drawn up to invest $7 billion (OMR3 billion) in Oman’s tourism sector over the next three years.

With the COVID-19 pandemic having had such a negative effect on tourism around the world, it is hoped that this investment will allow Oman to contribute to economic growth, generate more employment, and expand leisure and tourism opportunities for visitors.

The minister has noted that prior to the pandemic, Oman’s tourism sector had been steadily growing for many years. The sector’s overall value was $3 billion (OMR1.3 billion) at the end of 2019, up from $1.8 billion (OMR700 million) the previous year.

Salim Mohammed Al Mahrouqi
Salim Mohammed Al Mahrouqi
Oman Minister of Heritage & Tourism

“The ministry aims to bring in total investments worth $7 billion (OMR3 billion) during the next three years as part of the program of attracting investments and encouraging exports. This stems from the priorities of Oman’s Vision 2040. These efforts also include the approved timetables for investment, creating several investment initiatives, and introducing the right procedures for investment, appropriate governance, and developing legislation related to governing this sector, as well as several other enablers. Tourism had a direct contribution worth $1.8 billion (OMR718 million) in 2019, contributing about 2.5 percent to the country’s GDP, thanks to the arrival of nearly 3.5 million visitors. However, the performance of the tourism sector has been affected by the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The investment plan comes as part of efforts between the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, and other authorities to mitigate the pandemic’s effect on the tourism industry.

Under the directives of Sultan of Oman His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, investment plans will be targeted at vital aspects of the tourism sector, allowing its various elements to recover, develop tourism destinations, facilitate the growth of tourism supply chains, offer investment support, and assess priorities related to the growth of tourism and heritage in the region.

Many incentives and procedures, as well as the completion of an ambitious marketing strategy, have been implemented to reduce the effect of the coronavirus. This includes the Oman Tourism Strategy and its implementation program, which are also important components under the targets of Vision 2040.

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