Salalah, 17 Aug (ONA) – The Sultanate has embarked on implementing the greatest portion of a recovery plan in the aftermath of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic waves that impacted the tourism sector, said Salim Mohammed Al Mahrouqi, Minister of Heritage and Tourism.
The plan includes the implementation of safety procedures, health protocols and directives issued by the departments concerned to overcome the crisis and bring the tourism sector back to its previous levels as soon as possible.
The minister made the statement during his meeting with tourism developers and the business community in the Governorate of Dhofar. He affirmed the Ministry’s resolve to press ahead with nationalizing jobs in the tourism sector, an objective that falls within the shared national responsibility.
The minister laid emphasis on the importance of training which, he said, “is accorded attention by the departments concerned with a view to furnishing grounds for employment of citizens in this vital sector”.
He added that the Ministry has a plan to develop tourism destinations in Dhofar and that it is bracing to launch an investment management programme to the tune of RO 6 billion.
The minister unveiled a “Comprehensive Tourism Development Plan” to be undertaken by the Ministry. A number of workshops will be organized shortly to unleash the details of the plan, said the minister, noting that the workshops cover seven main axes, including the challenges, enablers and proposed solutions to handle issues relevant to all tourism-related sectors.
The plan envisages building capacities that are capable of dealing with the next stage, albeit by tackling requirements and upgrading performance when taking decisions, the minister observed.
The minister also spoke about winter tourism in Dhfoar Governorate. He said that plans have been approved to finance this type of tourism and that agreements to this effect will be concluded shortly with travel and tourism operators to ensure opening direct and regular airline routes between Dhofar Governorate and other parts of the world. This, he explained, will contribute to sustaining tourism activity throughout the year in Dhofar.
Speaking about the investment programme, currently being drafted in coordination with Oman Vision 2040 follow-up office, the minister said that this programme has been accorded massive financial investments through initiatives of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, Oman Investment Authority and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion.
The minister hoped that foreign investments would enter the scene and enhance national investments and investments from local partners.
In reply to a query about “integrated tourist services” in Dhofar, the minister said that the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism is following up services in the governorate in collaboration with other departments concerned. In particular, he urged petrol filling station operators to rise to the level of their responsibilities and provide consistent and high quality public services—to support the tourism sector, society and the national economy at large.