The direct added value of the tourism sector increased in 2018 to RO912mn compared to RO728mn in 2017, said H E Ahmed bin Nasser al Mehrzi, Minister of Tourism.
He also reviewed some indicators related to the rate of growth of travel and tourism offices and the Omani tourism strategy, explaining that the total investment expected by 2040 is about RO19bn.
H E Mehrzi was speaking at Majlis A’Shura’s seventh regular session of the fourth annual setting of the eighth term (2015-19).
In a statement he touched on the five main themes: Tourism Sector: Reality and Plans, Regulating legislations of tourism sector, Tourism marketing and promotion, Tourism investment and human resources in the tourism sector.
He added that the contribution of the tourism sector to the GDP of the sultanate was 2.9 per cent in 2018, compared to 2.6 per cent in 2017.
H E Mehrzi also stressed that the tourism sector was adopted as one of the five promising economic sectors in the ninth five-year plan (2016-20), which aims to diversify the economic base and sources of income of the sultanate to reduce dependence on oil as a main sector and reduce the negative effects resulting from fluctuating prices in the global market.
H E Mehrzi reviewed some indicators and statistics during the period (2016-18) related to the licensed hotel establishments and the projects offered for bidding in the various governorates of the sultanate. He also reviewed the approved usufruct agreements in the Ministry of Housing and the integrated residential complexes, referring to projects under implementation, projects in the stage of preparation and implementation and projects in the stage of contracting and finalisation of the procedures for implementation.
On the initiatives of the National Program for Enhancing Economic Diversification (Tanfeedh), the tourism sector laboratory approved 15 initiatives in 2016.
He also spoke about a new initiative called ‘Motivating Local Tourism’. In addition, H E Mehrzi also touched upon the local campaigns and promotional programmes aimed at promoting and highlighting tourism sites and activating the local tourism movement.