MUSCAT: As predicted by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) 2013 report Oman has witnessed a remarkable growth in tourists from the Gulf and Asia in 2014. The sultanate also witnessed a strong growth rate in tourists from across the world.

In 2014, the sultanate received 849,456 tourists from the Gulf compared to 772,535 in 2013, a growth of ten per cent, according to the Ministry of Tourism (MoT).

The next biggest growth rate (9.1 per cent) in tourists was seen from Asia with 474,653 travellers in 2014 compared to 435,067 in 2013. Tourists from Europe too, witnessed strong growth with the total number of tourists reaching 403,297 in 2014 compared to about 371,741 in 2013, a jump of 8.5 per cent.

Oman is making all efforts to enhance its image as a tourist destination in the Gulf market and is participating in different regional travel and tourism fairs and exhibitions.

In this regard, an Omani tourism delegation, comprising 26 companies and institutions, led by H E Maitha bint Saif al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary in the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), will be participating in a four-day Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai from Monday.

“Participating in the ATM will not only help promote tourism in the sultanate but also market future projects in the country,” stated the ministry.

ATM is the leading international travel and tourism exhibition and conference in the Middle East, bringing together over 15,000 travel and trade professionals from around the world every year.

With more than 3,000 exhibitors, the event provides high-level access to industry decision-makers and global buyers to enhance tourism offerings in the region.

Last year, ATM saw 33,000 participants from more than 131 countries. Business deals worth more than US$2.1bn were signed over four days.

The ministry also continues to participate in a number of tourism fairs in the Gulf region such as IBTM Arabia in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh Travel Fair, to attract tourists from the Gulf region and throw light on the latest developments in the tourism sector by providing opportunities for companies and institutions to promote their programmes.

SOURCE: Muscat Daily