Number of Indian visitors to Oman grew over 30 per cent last year

Energy Monday 24/September/2018 21:12 PM
By: Times News Service
Number of Indian visitors to Oman grew over 30 per cent  last year

Muscat: Oman received more than 300,000 visitors from India in 2017 alone, reflecting a 31 per cent growth in Indian travellers to the Sultanate since 2014, and a seven per cent growth over the past year alone.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, 321,161 visitors came to Oman in 2017, and with Oman launching a tourist visa that allows Indian nationals to book 10-day visits in Oman at a cost of just OMR5 for a visa, that number is expected to only go up in the future.
The ministry has organised a roadshow across major cities in India in order to foster stronger tourism ties, and Maitha Saif Al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary for the Ministry of Tourism, said India was one of the key markets Oman was targeting, with tourism earmarked as one of the key sectors with potential under the Tanfeedh plans for economic diversification.
“The objective of the roadshow is to highlight the various facets of Oman as a destination and to create awareness about the new segments and offerings that the country has to offer,” she said. “We see India as a promising potential market and have witnessed significant growth over a period of time. The Indian traveller is in a rapid state of evolution and is looking to be engaged in many ways. We recognise and acknowledge the demand we see from India and other potential markets.”
“Hence, as part of the Sultanate’s National Tourism Strategy 2040, the Ministry of Tourism seeks to introduce the sector’s latest developments, services, projects and facilities of the tourism industry, such as opening the new passenger terminal at Muscat International Airport and launching the Electronic Visa,” added Al Mahrouqi. “It also aims at promoting the Sultanate’s unique cultural heritage, the pristine environment and terrain diversification that will allow tourists to experience the destination.”
The OMR5 visa allows Indian nationals with valid visas to the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan and the Schengen States to avail of this service online at, while other Indian nationals can apply for visas by paying the required OMR5, plus processing fees, to their tour operators. This is in addition to the existing e-visa for Oman, which is available at OMR20 with a validity of one month. The amendments include dividing tourist visas into three sections: 10 days, one month and one year.
In this context, Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative for the Ministry of Tourism in Oman, added: “India represents an important and vast market for Oman, given the high percentage of its residents willing to travel and experience new destinations across the world. The roadshow offers us a platform to expose the uniqueness of Oman as a holiday destination from India. Being a short journey away, the country offers a diverse landscape and varied activities for the evolved Indian traveller.”
“From luxurious resorts and campsites to exotic scuba diving spots and rustic shopping experiences, Oman has something to offer to anyone who has a quest for adventure and a thirst for a distinctive cultural experience,” she added. “Muscat is a well-endowed city with modern infrastructure and provides a perfect set-up for weddings with various urban world class hotels. Being under three hours away and having excellent air connectivity with various cities in India also makes Oman a preferable wedding destination for Indians. What also works in Oman’s favour is the newness it brings. It is still a relatively unexplored destination, which also adds value as Indian clients want to explore new destinations.”