The Oman Ministry of Tourism has set its sights on attracting 12 million visitors by the year 2020.
The ministry’s vision follows on from a strong 2008 visitor arrival performance, which saw three million-plus international travelers enter the sultanate.
Based on this and forward visitor arrival projections the ministry is confident the tourism sector will become one of the biggest contributors to Oman’s GDP within the next 11 years.
The ministry’s aspirations have been heavily supported by both the Oman government and private sector which have invested heavily in several major tourism projects across the destination valued at more than US$10 billion.
Sultanate of Oman tourism director Australia/New Zealand Mona Tannous said one of the principle projects now underway was a major upgrade and expansion of the Sultanate’s principal air gateway, Muscat International Airport.
The airport last year handled more than 3.2 million international visitor arrivals.
In addition to the airport development, several massive tourism projects are now well underway most of which will be completed within the next five years.
These include 10 integrated resort style developments under construction in various parts of the country plus a major 6000-seat Convention Centre being built on a 1.6 million hectare site close to Muscat International Airport.