Oman won 16 major awards at the grand final gala ceremony of the 26th World Travel Awards held at the Royal Opera House Muscat, on Thursday.
It was held under the patronage of H H Sayyid Taimur bin Asaad bin Tariq al Said. The largest event in the world of travel and tourism was attended by H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Salim al Futaisi, Minister of Transport, alongside over 600 representatives from the global airlines and hospitality sectors. Oman won 16 grand prizes out of 144 which were distributed among participants from across the world.
Oman Airports bagged three awards. The first of which was the parent company being named as the World’s Leading Airport Operator, the second for Muscat International Airport for the World’s Leading Airport Website. The third award went to Salalah Airport, which was ranked as the World’s Leading Regional Airport. Oman Air, in turn, won four awards. It was ranked as the World’s Leading Airline – First class, while its programme ‘Sinbad’ received accolades for the World’s Leading Airlines Programme. This was followed by the award for the World’s Leading Airline to the Middle East, and for the World’s Leading Airport Lounge – Business Class.
Sheikh Aimen bin Ahmed al Hosni, chief executive officer of Oman Airports said, “As an enabling sector for the tourism industry, our initiative to host the world’s largest travel and tourism event aims to enhance the sultanate’s presence on the map of the most prominent destinations in the region.
“The sultanate hosted more than 600 representatives of international travel and tourism companies who attended the ceremony. “It was an incredible opportunity for those working in this field in Oman to build trade partnerships and increase the inflow of tourists. “The global media coverage helped to highlight the promising tourism potential of the sultanate. Global network TV5 that covered the ceremony on its channels is a great added value to the sultanate’s efforts in promoting its tourism potential.”
Oman also won an international award for the World’s Leading Nature Destination, which enhances its presence on the list of preferred tourist destinations for 2020. Jetex Oman received the World’s Leading FBO Terminal award, while Anantara Al Jabal al Akhdar Resort and Omran were awarded the World’s Leading Green Resort and the World’s Leading Tourism Development Company, respectively.
Furthermore, W Muscat won the World’s Leading New Hotel award, the Al Bustan Palace received the accolade for the World’s Leading Palace Hotel, The Chedi Muscat was awarded as the World’s Leading Luxury Honeymoon Resort and the Oman Exhibition & Convention Centre was recognised as the World’s Leading New Exhibition & Convention Centre. Last but not least, Zahara Tours won the World’s Leading Adventure Tour Operator award.
Graham Cooke, founder and president of the World Travel Awards said, “We are delighted to be hosting our grand final ceremony of the 2019 World Travel in a very beautiful city like Muscat. I believe that after seeing Omani companies win so many awards, I am confident that the Sultanate of Oman is leading the way towards enhancing the performance of its travel and tourism sectors, to become one of the most important income source of the economy.
“The sultanate hosts an immense pioneering potential, through its location at the heart of the world, its unique environment as well as the hospitality that characterises the Omani people, making it a favourite location for millions of tourists.
“We thank our partners at Oman Airports for organising the 26th edition of the World Travel Awards, which witnessed positive feedback from all guests around the world. We look forward to strengthening our cooperation with them in the upcoming years to highlight the great potential of the sultanate and its civil aviation. Both of these have undergone a major transformation over the past few years, making Oman one of the leading players in the regional and global travel sector.”