Muscat: Adventure tourism in the Sultanate of Oman is receiving an increasing international demand.
The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism exerts efforts to achieve an optimal utilisation of natural and cultural resources which contributes to developing the tourism and heritage sector, enhancing economic diversification, building a sustainable tourism economy and achieving the goals of Oman Vision 2040.
Yousef Rashid Al Harassi, Head of Product Development at the Directorate of Product Development and Tourism Experiences in the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, said: “Diversifying tourism products is one of the most prominent methodologies of the ministry in developing the tourism flow and enhancing tourism experiences, especially global adventure tourism activities that attract tourists and adventurers.”
“Adventure tourism contributes to boosting economic growth. Oman is ranked among those countries that attract many segments of tourists, including those interested in adventure tourism.”
He pointed out that the geographical nature of the Sultanate of Oman, ranging from mountains, caves, valleys, sandy deserts, and marine environments, contributes to raising the number of adventure tourists that come from all over the world, in addition to domestic tourists who also enjoy this type of tourism.
He added that the number adventure tourism enthusiasts are constantly growing in all governorates of the Sultanate of Oman. The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism is closely following this growth, in cooperation with authorities concerned, to provide all necessary services to tourists and to make Oman among the safest tourist destinations for adventure tourism activities in the world.
Al Harassi underscored Oman’s unique natural diversity, which is reflected in the diversity of tourist destinations that are preferred by the adventurers. Natural sites such as the Eastern and Western Al Hajar Mountains and some sites at the Governorates of Dhofar and Musandam have become attractive destinations for practicing adventure tourism activities.
He said that during the first quarter of 2023 an electronic system will be launched to submit applications for licenses to add the activity of organising adventure tourism trips. The new system targets travel and tourism offices.
Launching the new system, he added, will help the Ministry in regulating this field in a more systematic and efficient manner.
Al Harassi mentioned that in an effort to maximise the benefit of the unique natural diversity of Oman, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism is working on implementing many value-added projects that complement natural aspects in adventure tourism.
These specialised projects related to adventure tourism will contribute to providing local communities with new sources of income and enhance economic performance in the governorates. Accordingly, organisers of tourist groups, tour guides, and small and medium enterprises will have good opportunities to invest in adventure tourism activities, he added.
In addition, Al Harassi affirmed that the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism utilised research and best international practices in regulating and managing adventure tourism activities. The ministry also seeks to encourage the private sector to invest in adventure tourism projects of all kinds.