Taking tourism abroad

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The Ministry of Tourism is all set to participate in five major international tourism exhibitions with several promotional programmes in a number of countries. Among the most prominent international tourism exhibitions in which the Sultanate participates is the World Travel Market (WTM) London and the International Tourismus-Börse (ITB) Berlin. In addition to this, Oman organises workshops and events in a number of tourism exporting markets in a bid to explore new tourism markets. Anwar bin Saeed al Balushi, Acting Director of Events at the Ministry of Tourism, said that the Sultanate’s presence in international tourism forums was important for promotional purposes.
“These international events attract a large number of exhibitors and visitors from all over the world. They represent world’s tourism industry, travel companies, airlines, investors, government and private institutions and representatives of relevant international organisations,” he said.
According to him, participation in international exhibitions helps in getting acquainted with the latest developments in the tourism sector and learn from the world experiences for the advancement of the sector. It also provides investors an opportunity for exchanging ideas and information.
Al Balushi said that the ministry would conclude its series of participation in foreign exhibitions for this year with the World Travel Market exhibition which is being held between November 4 and 6. More than 21 tourism establishments, including a number of small and medium enterprises, are participating in the exhibition.
“The Sultanate will also participate in the ITB Berlin 2020 for which it was declared official partner. This will provide Oman an opportunity for wider promotions in the exhibition, social media platforms, publications and lounges of the largest exhibition of the world,” Al Balushi said.
A two-day mobile workshop in the Federal Republic of Germany (Munich/Frankfurt) has already started from October 30. This is in addition to a series of four internal tourism events to enrich the winter season and get benefit from these events for the promotion of tourism in the Sultanate.
The ITB Berlin is the largest tourism exhibition of the world where many countries converge to promote their tourism products and services. This helps in the development of their sources of income as they attract major tourist groups.
According to the ITB Berlin data, this year about 10,000 companies from 181 countries showcased their products in exhibition halls. The number of business delegates who were owners of tourism companies and establishments increased to 160,000. In 2018, the number was about 113,500.

Al Balushi said that the ministry is in the process of organising camping exhibition for tourist companies specialised in tours and camping. This will help in bringing the tourists and tour and camping companies together.
“This is to increase the number of tourists and tourist groups interested in camping from inside and outside the Sultanate in addition to providing an opportunity for promotion of the available camps and required facilities such as shops, restaurants, toilets, swimming pools and provide electricity,” he said.
In the exhibition, awareness lectures would be organised to introduce the tourists about the sites suitable for camping, preventive measures, cleanliness, health and regulation of the camping areas and how to install camps. The exhibition will also be about cooking, sports and cultural activities.
A lecture on camping will be held which discuss the types of camps sold, their shapes and sizes, the equipment used in the camps and first aid. Maps about the suitable places for camping would also be distributed at the occasion. It will be held for three days during December 2019.

Among the activities of the winter season is Spartan Reis International event — one of the largest events organised in the Sultanate in cooperation with the Spartan Reis Arabia and Shad United.
It will be held in the Governorate of Muscat in Jabal Al Sifah on November 15 and 16.
Thousands of participants from among adventure and competition enthusiasts of inside and outside the Sultanate are expected during the event.
It is also a challenge for novice and professional competitors to showcase their maximum physical potential and test their endurance.
He said that the number of participants in the event during the previous season was 2,500. It is expected to increase to 3,000 this year. On the promotion of this event, Anwar al Balushi said that there was coordination with most of the colleges and universities in Muscat.
The ministry is promoting the event in the colleges and distributing booklets among students to explain the mechanism of registration for the event and discounts for students.
This is also an opportunity for the students to work as volunteers during the event.

Al Balushi said that the astronomical camp would be held on December 26, in cooperation with the Oman Astronomical Society, to observe an astronomical event called “annular solar eclipse”, a rare astronomical event which did not take place in 118 years. It will not be repeated before 83 years.
On December 26, there will be an eclipse in the sky of the Sultanate and will be seen from a wide swath of the land of the Sultanate. Many tourists flock from abroad to watch this phenomenon which lasts for almost two minutes. The camp lectures and competitions related to astronomy will also be organised.

Al Balushi said that Muscat Eat3 would be the second edition of the festival meant for reviving Omani folk and traditional cuisines, in addition to many delicious dishes from all over the world.
It is organised in cooperation with Omar and Aisha projects. The event will take place at Al Mouj Golf Course, where the main festival will be accompanied by an Omani food festival. It will be a three-day event to be held on November 14-16. There will also be a three-day festival of food carts on November 28-30. The main event “Muscat Eat3” will be held on December 5 -7.

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