Oman’s positive start to 2012 is continuing with Oman securing a record 14 nominations at the World Travel Awards 2012. Among the nominations for Oman were; Middle East's Leading Destination, Middle East's Leading Marketing Campaign and Middle East's Leading Tourist Board. Muscat is nominated for Middle East's Leading Business Travel Destination and Middle East's Leading Cruise Port. Salalah is also nominated for Middle East’s Leading Cruise Port.
International Air Transport Association (IATA) data is showing a good start to the year with international passenger arrivals to Muscat International Airport showing strong year-on-year growth, particularly from the GCC.
Oman’s tourism industry is now looking to boost tourism performance. In early 2012 the Government of Oman introduced discounted tourist visas and launched an attractive stopover campaign with Oman Air. In addition, the Oman Ministry of Tourism has launched the ‘Muscat Arab Tourism Capital 2012’ campaign with a year-round calendar of hallmark events.
Her Excellency Maitha Al Mahrouqi, the Undersecretary of Oman’s Ministry of Tourism said, “The Arabian Travel Market is a valuable opportunity to showcase our ‘Muscat Arab Tourism Capital 2012’ campaign and support our latest tourism initiatives including new discounted tourist visas, and our stopover campaign with Oman Air.”
Oman’s delegation to ATM 2012 includes the Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Bahwan Tours, Golden Tulip Hotel, Grand Hyatt Muscat Hotel, IHG Muscat Hotels, Mezoon Oman, National Ferries Company, Park Inn Hotel by Radisson Muscat, Ramada Muscat Hotel, Safeer Hotels & Tourism Company, Salalah Marriott Resort, Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Six Senses Zighy Bay Hotel, Sohar Beach Hotel and The Chedi Muscat.
Meanwhile, the Ministry has announced that the Salalah Tourism Festival will begin on 21 June and run to 18 July this year. The event will feature a variety of artistic and cultural activities and stage shows, with local and international programs for families and other participants seeking entertainment, knowledge and enjoyment.
“The high number of WTA nominations is gratifying as we work to develop a competitive tourism industry. I am delighted to see the Ministry of Tourism among the nominations as we continue to build Oman’s brand campaign ‘Beauty has an address’ throughout our international trade network,” concluded Her Excellency Maitha Al Mahrouqi.
The industry-backed World Travel Awards are a barometer of service standards and excellence. Among the destinations in Oman nominated in Middle East categories for 2012 are;
- Leading Beach Destination - Qurum Beach, Muscat
- Leading Beach Resort - The Chedi Muscat
- Leading Cultural Attraction - Oman Heritage Village, Muscat
- Leading Hotel - Six Senses Zighy Bay and The Chedi Muscat
- Leading Leisure Hotel - Hilton Salalah
- Leading Luxury City Hotel - Al Bustan Palace Muscat
- Leading Luxury Resort - Six Senses Zighy Bay
- Leading Meetings & Conference Resort - Grand Hyatt, Muscat
- Leading Resort - Six Senses Zighy Bay, The Chedi Muscat
- Leading Spa Resort - The Chedi Muscat
- Leading Tourism Development Project - Al Madina A'Zarqa
- Responsible Tourism Award - National Ferries Company Oman
Complementing Oman’s strong performance this year, the Ministry of Tourism’s Australian Office has been nominated for the third year running for an AFTA Award as Best National Tourism Board. The National Geographic and Lonely Planet have also recently recommended Oman and Muscat as must-see destinations in 2012, along with the Arab League’s declaration of Muscat as Arab Tourism Capital.