Tourism Ministry stresses the importance of local products

Oman Wednesday 08/May/2024 18:33 PM
By: Times News Service

Muscat: His Excellency Salem bin Mohammed Al Mahrouqi, Minister of Heritage and Tourism stressed on the importance of giving priority to local content by the hotel establishments, to achieve sustainability, as well as achieving the government’s aspirations to enrich local communities and markets.

At the opening of the Forum for Enhancing the Competitiveness of National Products and Services in Hotel Establishments, which organized by the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism during the period of 8th -9th May , His Excellency emphasized that, MHT keens to place local content within the indicators of evaluating hotel establishments, as it is important in reviving the traditional heritage that the Sultanate abounds with, as well as enriching the experiences of the visitors to the Sultanate of Oman .  

His Excellency added that, the achieving of fruitful partnership between all parties of the hotels sector will contribute to reflect the natureof the sector and its great potential in maximising local content by providing job opportunities and creating sustainability that embodies the goals of Oman Vision 2040.

He stressed that it is time to pay attention to tourism sector policies, maximising local content, and work to strengthen local communities and the national product, as well as partnership with sector chains, which requires great attention to local content in order to be within the criteria for evaluating hotel establishments.

His Excellency expressed his hope that the tourism sector will open horizons with communities to implement the best sustainability practices in all its aspects and preserving the local component, since the sector is growing steadily and sustainably.

He pointed out that, MHT directs its capabilities to develop all tourism products, such as medical tourism, adventure tourism, and natural tourism, while all these components are linked with the sector to allow the tourist to spend an enjoyable tourist experience.

The Forum for Enhancing the Competitiveness of National Products and Services in Hotel Establishments, highlighted a number of aspects that enrich local content, such as policies and laws related to government procurement in local content, while reviewing the experiences of localising local content.

Dr. Rashid Al Hinai, Director General of Planning at the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, said: The adopting of local value is aligned with the standards set by the World Council for Sustainable Tourism and the internationally recognised standards for sustainable tourism practices, particularly in the aspects of community participation, cultural preservation and economic benefits for local stakeholders, through incorporating the  in-country value into their operations, while the  hoteliers demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and responsible tourism practices to  enhance their appeal to environmentally and community-conscious travelers.

He clarified that, Oman Vision 2040 sets ambitious goals for economic diversification and sustainable development in the country.
He pointed out that,  promoting tourism as a key driver of economic growth and job creation by prioritizing value within the country , as well as promoting inclusive growth, supporting local communities and preserving the country’s cultural and natural heritage , are considered as part  of the  main goals this vision.

He added that, the local value refers to the economic benefits generated locally through tourism activities, including employment opportunities, local purchases and revenue retention within the country, while embracing and enhancing in-country value is not only a strategic business decision, but also a commitment to sustainable tourism practices that are in line with global sustainability standards.

The first day of the forum witnessed the presentation of a number of working papers, including a working paper entitled: Policies and Laws Related to Government Procurement in Local Content, presented by the General Secretariat of the Tender Board. It included a definition of the structure of the General Secretariat of the Tender Board, as well as the types of contracting in government projects and the exemptions that constitute an incentive to implement local content.

The Investment Authority also presented a working paper in which it reviewed the experience of localizing local products in hotel establishments, while the Food Safety and Quality Center reviewed in a working paper the initiative to enhance the competitiveness of the national food product.

The forum also witnessed the holding of a discussion session during which emphasis was placed on cooperation in the local content file, exchanging knowledge, and benefiting from existing experiences locally and internationally to maximize the experiences of the tourism industry and knowledge of local institutions and enrich them.