The Sultanate of Oman is enjoying record visitation from Australia and New Zealand due to its positioning as a multifaceted destination with serious delegate appeal. This interest is being propelled by the new world-class Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre opening in 2016.
Contributing to this record increase, Oman has already attracted significant events from high achiever incentive programs from Australia such as Mercedes Benz and News Ltd.
The Sultanate of Oman's Ministry of Tourism Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Ms Mona Tannous, said that in 2011-2012 Oman achieved a staggering 72% increase in visitations from Australia and New Zealand, followed by 11% in 2012-2013 and 10% in 2013-2014, as a result exceeding those from European countries.
"We often talk about Oman being the best-kept secret in Arabia. But clients keep telling us that Oman's unique natural beauty, heritage and culture combined with the renowned warmth and hospitality of Omani people makes Oman the best-kept tourism secret on the planet," Ms Tannous said.
With more than 10,500 hotel rooms available in Muscat by 2018, the opening of the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) is the catalyst for major business events in the Sultanate.
OCEC's venue manager AEG Ogden agrees that their marketing efforts over the past three years have gained traction with Oman now being seriously considered as one of the world's most exciting emerging convention destinations.
AEG Ogden's Group Manager Convention Sales Development, Ms Rochelle Uechtritz said,"with numerous convention bids in the pipeline as far ahead as 2021, the operations team will ensure that each and every delegate will experience a special blend of traditional Omani hospitality."
"The OCEC executive management team is headed by our General Manager, Trevor McCartney, who has more than 20 years experience that includes venue pre-openings in the Middle East, Asia and UK. The key positions of Director of Operations, Head of Events, Director of Food & Beverage and the Executive Chef all possess extensive global operational expertise, most recently from within our own network of venues."
"We have also been extremely fortunate to have appointed several highly skilled Omani professionals and are working towards recruiting and training a workforce of more than 160 full-time staff by the end of 2015, of which 60% will be Omanis," Ms Uechtritz added.