162 per cent increase in Russian tourists visiting Sultanate

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MUSCAT: There is an increase of 162 per cent in tourists coming from Russia in 2018 (10,877 tourists), compared to 4,156 in 2017. In the first five months in this year, around 9,651 Russian tourists came to Muscat. This comes as the Ministry of Tourism plans to organise a number of workshops in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg in September. These workshops will be attended by Ahmed bin Nasser al Mehrzi, Minister of Tourism. These workshops reflect the ministry’s efforts to boost tourist arrivals and promote tourist destinations and hospitality capabilities of the Sultanate.

The workshops will cover presentations promoting world-class tourism services, capabilities and products the Sultanate has to offer. With participation of more than 21 local tour operators and 200 tour operators and tourism-related companies from the Russian market, the event presents a platform for networking and meetings to discuss and negotiate possible cooperation agreements, contracts and MoUs. Salim al Maamari, Director-General of Promotion at the Ministry of Tourism, said that tourist arrivals from Russia have gone up after Oman Air, the national carrier of the Sultanate, introduced daily direct flights between Muscat and Moscow.

“The Ministry of Tourism has recently established a representative office in Russia to take advantage of the Russian market which is one of the most promising ones. We have great interest in increasing arrivals from Russia; accordingly, we are keen to participate in tourism events and exhibitions in Russia.” “The Ministry of Tourism introduced many world-class services to tourists coming from Russia who are now able to obtain tourist visa either upon arrival at Muscat International Airport or through e-visa system. These efforts are supported by direct communication and contact channels with big players in Russian markets”, Al Maamari said.

“In 2018, our efforts resulted in 121 campaigns — 20 in France, 13 in the Netherlands, 21 in India, 17 in Britain, 28 in GCC, 19 in Germany and 3 in Italy,” he added. “Promoting and marketing tourism products, services, facilities and infrastructure in Oman are at the heart of our efforts abroad. The ministry makes all efforts to establish connection and communication with tour operators, tourism-related companies and travel offices operating in the targeted markets,” Al Maamari said. It is worth mentioning that the ministry has established representative offices abroad in France, Dubai, Berlin, Britain, the Netherlands, Italy and Russia. — ONA

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