A press release said that the initiative intends to showcase Oman to India’s rapidly growing outbound traveller segment. Thomas Cook India’s UK-Europe bound premium travellers will now have the option of a complimentary two-day stopover in Muscat. This package is expected to attract over 800 passengers from May to September.
H E Maitha al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Tourism, said, “The ministry values the opportunity to run a tactical consumer campaign with Thomas Cook India, a highly respected brand. We are looking at not just next season’s campaign, but rather a meaningful long-term relationship.”
Madhav Pai, director – leisure travel (outbound), Thomas Cook India Ltd, said, “We are truly honoured to partner with Oman’s Ministry of Tourism and Zahara Tours. This partnership is a reiteration of our heritage of introducing new and exotic destinations to India’s outbound travellers. While Oman has been traditionally perceived as a business-only destination, we hope to showcase it as the new holiday destination. Also, given the growing trend of Indians combining business with leisure, we aim to bring Oman into focus as an ideal destination.”
Gautam Broota, chief executive officer, Zahara Tours, said, “India promises to be a huge market for Oman. We believe this campaign will help firmly establish Oman as a tourism destination to Indians. Zahara Tours has always played a path-breaking role in trying to develop new ideas, which help the tourism industry in Oman grow. It is our firm belief this campaign will go a long way to achieve this objective.”
India is Oman’s largest inbound market, recording 723,632 passenger arrivals in 2012, with premium travellers accounting for 12 per cent.
‘In 2001, there were 185,942 transit passengers from India, with premium passenger movements accounting for around 16 per cent of the total traffic. The ministry believes that the campaign with Thomas Cook India Ltd will also build awareness for Oman as a stop-over option for India’s business travellers to the Gulf that fly with Oman Air,’ the press release said.