Sayyid Hamoud bin Faisal al Busaidy, Minister of Interior, presented first Oman Tourism Awards (OTA) at a function in Al Bustan Palace Hotel on Monday. Al Bustan Palace Hotel, Crowne Plaza and Al Reef Hotel won the awards for best hotels. Zahara Tours and Golden Tours Oman were adjudged best tourism companies while Best Inn award went to Misfah Old House. The awards are one of the latest initiatives of Al Roya Newspaper in a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Tourism to support tourism sector.
Hatem al Taei, Al Roya’s Editor-in- Chief, and the General Supervisor of OTA, explained that tourism sector is growing strong. The added value of the tourism sector amounted to RO 912 million by the end of 2018, achieving an annual growth of 25 per cent. The tourism sector contributed about 3 per cent to the gross domestic product by the end of last year. “The award aims at enhancing the growth of the tourism sector and supporting the country’s plans to benefit from the sector in promoting economic diversification. Hence, tourism is considered one of the promising sectors to promote non-oil resources” said Al Taie.
“Among the aims of the award is to motivate Omani youth to become involved in the tourism sector by starting their own projects such as the heritage inns, which are a unique example of authentic Omani hospitality, or through working in hotel and tourist establishments,” he said.