Muscat – BMI Industry Research under the parent organisation Fitch Solutions predicted a 23.5% growth in the number of people visiting the sultanate this year.
The fourth quarter report for 2023 issued by BMI, an economic solutions entity affiliated with Fitch Solutions, has revealed that the analysts expected the number of visitors to the Sultanate of Oman will touch 3.6mn till the end of this year.
The BMI report shows that the total number of international tourists arriving into Oman in 2023 is likely to reach 3.6mn, up by 23.5% compared to 2022.
The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MHT) drew a comprehensive plan to attract 11mn visitors annually by 2040. The plan includes having new tourism and heritage projects that may contribute to raising the volume of total investments in the sector.
MHT emphasised that it closely monitors international indicators related to the tourism sector, which helps the ministry to understand market trends and analyse the performance of the tourism sector at the global level and its reflections locally.
The ministry measures the impact of marketing efforts to improve its offers and services at tourist destinations and direct plans to enhance the sector and raise its performance.
These indicators help increase competitiveness in the global market. Improvement of international indicators leads to positive results such as increase investors’ interest and actual investments into the sector.
Bigger investments subsequently contribute to the development and strengthening of a country’s economic cycle.
Besides several projects aimed at boosting Oman’s tourism, MHT is implementing a number of projects to preserve the craft heritage – said to be a national treasure and one of the most important pillars of Oman’s unique identity, which remained alive for thousands of years.
“Handcraft heritage has historical, cultural and social importance that is inherited through generations. This gets represented in handicraft products and their elements, and the associated moral, utilitarian or aesthetic value such as knowledge, skills, techniques and environments for practicing crafts,” said Alia bint Salem al Hinai, Director of the Handicraft Heritage Department at the ministry.
The ministry carefully procures raw materials for different crafts, she informed, while explaining that for production of various local crafts – craftsmen need raw materials from nature that include wood for making ships and boats; metals for silver wares, copper wares, daggers and ornaments; animal skins for leather industries; besides those crafts made from animal bones.
“Oman is also known for its potteries, ceramics, frankincense, precious stones, gypsum, musical instruments, fishing tools, cotton and woollen fabrics, paints and dyes.”
Alia stressed that the ministry is concerned with all matters of craft heritage in a way that ensures its collection and documentation, good management and protection, transmission to future generations, and interest in research activities in the fields of craft development.
“The ministry works sincerely to protect Oman’s national crafts by registering them with competent authorities, including getting some crafts registered as intangible heritage under Unesco,” she added.