Oman tourism: 88% of the participants visited Oman for the first time

Officials of 200 French tour operators lauded Oman's tourism potential

CEO of Selectour Network:  We have decided to introduce Omani tourism potential to the French tourism industry

Salem Adi Al Mamari:  The workshop was an opportunity to showcase our organisational capabilities and tourism components in front of major French tourism companies

Khulood Al Kaabi:  The workshop was a model for cooperation between the public and private sectors

Rania Khodr:  The workshop will increase the pace of growth of the French tourism movement towards the Sultanate

Munir Al Balushi:  By this organisational innovation, we wanted to enhance Oman’s image in the minds of international delegations

French impressions:  We will come back again because of the hospitality, safety, and security we saw here. Picturesque nature of the country also attracted us.

Representatives of the companies decided that they will start promoting tourism for the Sultanate once they will return to France

Representatives of more than 200 French tour operators lauded the ninth meeting of Selectour Network of French international tourist companies hosted by the Sultanate. The meeting was organised by the Arab Orient Tourism company with the support of the Ministry of Tourism on April 4-8 in the Grand Hormuz Hotel Muscat. The representatives of these companies also appreciated the Sultanate's various tourism components, which they came to know in the sessions held on the sidelines of the workshop in which the Ministry of Tourism had participated. The delegates also had a tour of the tourist destinations of the country at the end of the conference and lauded the warmth of the Omani hospitality, safety and security.

They said that dealing with the Omani tourism would have positive returns. The visit was sufficient to give a wonderful impression about the Omani tourism and its components.

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Why Oman?

"The Sultanate's choice to host the ninth meeting of the company was to highlight of Oman's tourism potential, and its promising opportunities," said Laurent Abitbol, a chief executive officer of the Selectour Network. "The Sultanate, despite its considerable efforts, is still unknown to many in the industry in France and Europe. This is why we saw that the meeting was an opportunity to introduce them to the Sultanate and its various tourist elements. They can share their experience through tourism cooperation and increase the number of French tourists visiting Oman, especially after they have seen the hospitality and many other features that the Sultanate has to offer.

Big opportunity

Salem Adi Al Mamari, Director General of Tourism Promotion at the Ministry of Tourism, emphasized the importance of this meeting in promoting tourism in the Sultanate. It was an opportunity to showcase the country's organisational potential to host major events. The Ministry has the capabilities to host them successfully.  Hosting the workshop has created a positive image of tourism for the participants.

Successful cooperation

Khulood Al Kaabi, the events’ organizer in the Ministry of Tourism, lauded the Arab Orient Tourism company for the role it played in organising the meeting. The workshop emphasized on how the private sector could play a role in strengthening the tourism potential of the Sultanate. The meeting also set an example of a successful cooperation which the Ministry of Tourism looked forward to the private sector. It has increased trust and confidence in the private sector’s capabilities and potentials.

Achievement

Rania Khodr, Director of the Office of External Tourism Representation of Oman’s Ministry of Tourism in Paris, said that it is a major achievement to host this workshop in the Sultanate. As well, 88% of the companies that participated to this meeting under the umbrella of the leading Selectour Network have never known the Sultanate.  The participants saw the development in the Omani tourism and its product, which will reflect in the form of increased movement of French tourists to the Sultanate.

Organisational skills

Mounir Al Baloushi, a representative of the Arab Orient Tourism company which organised the event, said: "We were very keen about this organisational experience which was meant for improving Oman’s image in front of international delegations." the support of the Ministry of Tourism enabled us to leave a good impression to the French participants as the event was well organised. It gave an opportunity to showcase the diversity of the Omani tourism potential and products. The ministry has made huge efforts to introduce the Omani tourism possibilities during the meeting.

Major possibilities:

Terry Jiro, a representative of a tourist office in the French market, admired the potential of the Sultanate in the tourism sector, which, according to him, qualifies it to attract French tourists. The Sultanate is a close tourist destination not more than 6 hours away from France. He added that the new airport and the facility of electronic visas system would be attractive elements of tourism in the Sultanate, in addition to the hospitality which the participating delegations experienced.

Safety and security:

Emmanuel, a representative of French tourism promotion companies, also lauded the safety and security in the Sultanate.  She was particularly impressed by the natural beauty of the country which she could see during this short visit. She said that after returning to France, she would work to attract groups of French tourists to the Sultanate. She said that this meeting was mostly focused on networking.

Practical steps:

Patrick, one of the owners of French tour operators and a tourism investor, said that this was his first visit to the Sultanate which he did not know before. Now he would visit the country again by the end of the year to look for local partners and know the possibilities of various hotels and their capacities. He said that the tourism elements which he saw during the visit would always attract him and others as they are very promising.

One of the participants said that after returning to Paris she would start promoting this hospitable country as a major tourist destination which many did not know before. This visit was the discovery of its wonderful tourist attractions.

Traditions:

Marian, who specializes in the tourism sector, described what she saw in the Sultanate as a natural beauty. She was particularly impressed as she saw that there was adherence to the local customs and traditions.

I’ll be back:

The tour guide Patrick summed up his impressions of his participation in the workshop and his first visit to the Sultanate saying: "I will be back with my family soon." He also said that he loved photography and the Sultanate has unique natural portrait which is rare in the world. He said that he believed that the outcome of this meeting will soon reflect positively on the number of French tourists visiting Oman. (ENDS)

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