Whilst relying on oil for a majority of its economy, Oman is looking for means to diversify the pool. One sure fire way to do so is improvements within the tourism sector. Located on the coast of the Arabian Peninsula, the Sultanate has an abundance of natural wonders. Oman has been gaining traction, of late, for its distinct landscape. However, is there a way to shift Oman’s tourism from hindsight to the mainstream?
Popular tourist destinations like Bali, Maldives, France, or even the neighbouring United Arab Emirates, shell out a huge part of their funds to advertise the attractions they have to offer. These places consistently maintain their spot on the tourism radar. Oman’s main selling point is the curiosity that shrouds its seldom ventured land. However, Oman needs to shed a focus light on itself. The Sultanate needs to look into invest in advertising campaigns that will generate a buzz about its touristic capabilities. Simply put, investment begets investment in this scenario. In order to rake in money via tourism, Oman has to strategically fund its tourism sector.
Oman benefits highly from leaving its attractions relatively untouched, giving them a distinctly natural feel. The expansive deserts, cooling wadis, and calming seas of Oman are a must visit for those with the country on their bucket list. But the lack of facilities like restrooms, seating areas, and pathways make it difficult for an avid explorer to strike these places off their list. Oman could benefit from providing better facilities to its visitors, enabling them to enjoy comfortably.
Though a majority of Oman’s population is still highly reliant on private vehicles, public transport has been gaining popularity. Mwasalat buses have made it easier for some to commute, and their ample stops make sure that most destination needs are met with. Nonetheless, apart from the Big Bus, that provides city-wide tours for visitors, there is little else. The Big Bus manages to cover the urban spots, leaving a huge chunk of Oman’s countryside to be unexplored. The Sultanate may benefit from finding a way to provide transport for backpackers and those not on package tours, to spots like Wadi Tiwi or the hot water springs. Ease in maneuvering may lead to a rise in the number of tourists.
The SME – Oman Tourism Seesaw
SME’s are on the rise in Oman, but when it comes to tourism, it may be a Catch 22. Wherein, the SME’s will increase if the number of tourists does, and vice versa. To break the paradox, SME’s in Oman need to take the first step. The incoming tourist traffic will only help strengthen their base, enabling Oman’s tourism sector to contribute heavily to the Sultanate’s economy.