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Sat 29 Nov 2014 10:02 AM

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Oman tourism's economic impact to rise by 10% in 2014

New report says impact of sultanate's tourism sector on economy is one of world's most improved

Oman tourism's economic impact to rise by 10% in 2014
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Oman's tourism sector is forecast to see one of the biggest improvements in the world this year when measured as a percentage contribution to its national economy.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said in a new report that tourism's direct economic contribution is forecast to rise by 10.2 percent in 2014, the third highest increase of the 184 countries which WTTC produces data on.

It added that international tourist arrivals in Oman reached 1.6 million in 2013, generating $1.2 billion in exports while during the first half of 2014, tourist arrivals grew by 12 percent, compared to the same period of 2013.

Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, deputy Prime Minister of Oman, said during talks with the WTTC in the sultanate that there was direct support at the highest level of government of the tourism sector, acknowledging tourism’s positive social, cultural and investment impacts.

He said this is of particular relevance considering the Omani Strategy Project for Tourism 2015-45, which includes domestic tourism as one of its fundamental pillars.

The WTTC report said the government of Oman recognises 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.

Underscoring the country’s rich heritage and archaeology as key tourism assets, UNWTO secretary-general, Taleb Rifai, who attended the meeting, 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 WTTC added: “The short and long term future for Oman’s economy from Travel & Tourism looks really bright."

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