(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The number of Italian tourists travelling to Oman has grown tremendously, witnessing an increase of 38 per cent between January and May 2012 when compared to the same period in 2011. This has made Italy the fourth largest European market for Omani tourism after the UK, Germany and France.''After just two years of opening the Oman tourism office in Italy, it has become the fourth largest European market in terms of arrivals,'' said Rania Khodr, director of Oman tourism offices in Italy, France and Suisse Romande (western Switzerland). ''Italian arrivals in Oman in 2011 were 15,179, featuring a considerable growth of 77 per cent versus 2010. This trend continues in 2012, which has seen a 38 per cent increase over 2011, registering 7,103 arrivals between January and May.''She added that the number of tour operators in Italy featuring Oman as a travel destination has risen 80.5 per cent to nearly 74 since 2010.Rania, representing the Oman tourism office along with six key players from the sultanate's tourism industry, recently attended the TTG Incontri trade exhibition held in Rimini, Italy, last month.Representatives from DMC Mark Tours, Khasab Tours and Muscat Holidays; and hotels The Chedi Muscat, InterContinental Muscat and Shangri La's Barr al Jissah Resort & Spa met Italian tour operators, travel agents, incentive houses and Italian journalists at the event.Nearly 50,685 professionals participated in TTG Incontri, which is said to have provided a great opportunity to develop new synergy and let Italian trade representatives collect updated information about the activities of Oman tourism offices and developments in terms of accommodation and infrastructure in Oman. ''In 2012-13, for instance, the opening of some new hotel units all over the sultanate will make the destination reach a total of 14,500 rooms,'' said Rania.According to her, overall attendance at Oman's booth were fairly good and over 20 journalists, 255 travel agents and 23 travel trade operators visited the pavilion and sought information during the exhibition. ''Visitors were updated about events, new products and other information about Oman, and were also given maps, brochures, bags and gadgets.''