Oman Air thrives at World Travel Market 2007
Oman Air announced that its participation in the
recently concluded World Travel Market (WTM)’s 2007 edition in London
has been a success.
In this regard, Usama Bin Karim Al Haremi, Corporate
Communications and Media Department Manager of Oman Air said that the
Sultanate of Oman Pavilion in which was designed to capture the essence
of the Sultanate, its cultural heritage and future aspiration, besides
Oman’s enormous tourism potentials did attract massive attention.
The event had broken all records in terms of size, the most
important factor was bringing nearly 50,000 senior industry delegates
together under one roof to conduct business, network, identify new
markets and learn about new global trends and developments. With a
general recorded growth size of 2%, WTM welcomed 5,402 exhibitors from
more than 200 regions and countries, with four new countries returning
to the event after a long absence.
The Sultanate’s participation reflected Oman’s strategic plans, aiming
at promoting the country as a leading tourist destination in the region
with substantial tourism projects, and development plans that aim to
position tourism as a major non-oil economy sector. ‘I think we as Oman
Air have signified our prospect strategies also our objectives in
course of the forthcoming expansion of our operations. Each day was an
important business day for us at the event. The happening attracted
nearly 50,000 senior industry delegates together under one roof. The
quality of meetings has been good and up to our expectations. The
information provided by the buyers has been useful, and I have been
able to make some very good contacts,’ said Al Haremi.
He added that visitors to WTM included accommodation suppliers,
airlines, associations, coach operators, tour operators, travel
agencies, technology companies, tourism organizations, tourist
attractions, and others. WTM delivered a supreme quality audience with
unrivalled top-level opportunities and managed to conduct significant
business, identified new markets and network World, but the focus
squarely was on the promotion of sustainable tourism.
‘Oman Air was invited to attend the annual Guild event. Each year,
the Guild gives out its own awards at a gala dinner on the eve of World
Travel Market. Special annual awards, which include both tourism
ventures worldwide and our own prestigious members’ awards. The British
Guild of Travel Writers is a hugely important organisation, where in
there website you will find everything you need to know about who is
who and who does what in the travel industry. Founded in 1960, the BGTW
is an association of over 270 writers, editors, photographers,
producers, radio and television presenters involved in the world of
travel,’ he further said.
He mentioned that the carrier offered two tickets LGW-MCT-LGW in
the event’s raffle, also the same for the Captains of Industry lunch at
WTM, in which was sponsored by the Omani Ministry of Tourism.
Al Haremi notified that other trends were identified at the opening
of the World Travel Market 2007 in which included the rise of tourism
in the Middle East that follows Muslim precepts. Euromonitor
International report highlighted the potential for a boom in “Halal”
tourism, which follows Islamic rules.
The report forecasts that the number of tourists going to the
Middle East will grow by 66% between now and 2011, by which time 55
million people should be visiting the region annually. The report
mentioned that the Middle East nations are missing out by targeting
Muslims and non-Muslims in exactly the same way and should tap into
opportunities ranging from a Halal airline to women-only hotels.
A large proportion of those visitors will be from other Middle
Eastern countries, partly because of the difficulty of obtaining visas
for Western Europe and the United States. The report stated that there
was a market for a Halal startup airline, such as the budget airline
set up by the Vatican earlier this year to transport pilgrims to holy
sites. According to WTM, tourism revenue in the Middle East is expected
to more than double from its current level to almost $51bn in 2011.
‘WTM 2007 also witnessed a strong focus on green issues. ‘World
Responsible Tourism Day’ marked an important day in the 28-year-long
history of the WTM with a series of activities covering carbon
offsetting, water, poverty reduction and destinations. The major global
initiative in association with the United Nations World Tourism
Organization and supported by leading associations such as the World
Travel & Tourism Council and the Pacific Asian Tourism Association
highlighted the ever-increasing pressure on the tourism industry to
promote environmentally friendly ways of seeing the world.
In a speech broadcasted to all the WTM delegates, UNWTO Secretary
General Francesco Frangialli said that Tourism is a central part of our
society, our economic progress and our contribution to the war on
poverty. The UNWTO has identified extreme poverty and climate change as
two of the most trenchant issues with truly global impact. A number of
environmental initiatives were also introduced to reduce waste, energy
consumption and to use reusable products,’ he concluded.