Ministry plans to train 800 guides to boost Oman tourism
October 9, 2017 | 10:25 PM
by Times News Service
These guides will able to promote Oman’s tourism for tourists visiting the country. Photo-File

Muscat: Oman will train 800 tourist guides by 2020, the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has said.

These guides will able to promote Oman’s tourism for tourists visiting the country.

“These tour guides will be trained to help promote human resources in the tourism sector and to strengthen the capacity of professional tour guides,” an official said.

“The government is focusing on the development of all sectors, including tourism, which will contribute to economic and social development, increasing national income, increasing employment and attracting investment,” the official said.

“The number of tourists is increasing and demand for services is also increasing, so professional tourism training is a major factor in providing a reliable and comfortable service to tourists. Oman needs more professional, responsible and ethical professional tourism guides,” the official said, while organising a workshop for the tour guide programme.

Three million people visited the Sultanate in 2016, with nationals from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Indians, Britons, Germans and Pakistanis forming the majority, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

Until the end of December 2016, 1,453,336 Gulf Cooperation Council nationals had visited the Sultanate, followed by 299,568 Indians. Britons accounted for 173,684 visitors in 2016, while Germans made up for 136,950, and the remaining 89,258 being Pakistanis. These five countries contributed the largest number of visitors to Oman. Recently, MoT has issued new regulations for tourist guides.

A tourist guide will now have to obtain a proper licence to do his job. “Candidates should pass a test and an interview in order to get the licence,” officials said.

Welcoming this move, residents said: “It’s a good move and will organise the market. I came across several tourist guides, who barely speak English and sometimes provide incorrect information about historical places in Oman.”

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