(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Oman is eyeing China, Japan and Korea's fast expanding outbound tourism market which is worth billions of dollars.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization annual report 2013, tourists from China and Japan spent US102bn and US27.9bn respectively in 2012 on holidays abroad. Chinese tourists even topped the chart for spending on international tourism in 2012.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, H E Maitha bint Saif al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary in the Ministry of Tourism, said, ''We are targeting potential markets to promote Oman. At the moment, we have ten offices representing 14 countries in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Gulf.
''We have found that there is a huge tourism potential from China, Japan and Korea. We are studying these markets at this stage and will soon have a strategy to tap tourists from these countries.''
She said that the US is another potential country for Oman's tourism industry. ''Hopefully, we can have a public relations office to study the potential. That's what the strategy is going to be. These are big markets. We have to do it gradually. We need to have a connection with the aviation sector in terms of how tourists can get here. So, we are working very closely with the national carrier.''
H E Maitha said that the ministry is also promoting Oman as a business destination. ''We are promoting the country as an investment destination in oil, mining and transport sectors. We usually combine that while promoting the country as a tourist destination.''
She said that Oman has a lot to offer to tourists. ''It depends who we are targeting. We have positioned ourselves depending on market requirements. There are some markets where people are looking for niche tourism and we are marketing ourselves accordingly. There are some countries in Europe where tourists want to explore the culture and heritage of the place they are visiting. Oman has a lot to offer in terms of culture and heritage. These are our focus area