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.... 14 Tourism in the Sultanate of Oman Introduction Oman is a country on the Arabian Peninsula. The tourism in Oman has grown rapidly in the last ten years, and it is expected to be one of the largest industries in the nation. The country has one of the most diverse environments in the Middle East with various visitor attractions and is particularly well known for cultural tourism. Recently, Lonely Planet Travel Guide named Oman as the 2nd best city to visit for 2012. The capital of Oman has also been selected as the capital of Arab tourism for 2012. The director of tourism Salim Bin Adey Al Mamari said the country had 1.6 million tourists in 2010, and they are expecting to increase this figure by 7% in 2011 (Claire Ferrislay 2011). Between the year 2000 and 2010, the industry of tourism in Oman increased as the government has managed to achieve the following targets: Allowing different types of private sector activities by removing visa barriers and providing the basic need of hotels, international airports, and various natural tourism attractions Developing tourism projects and building roads to improve links to remote areas. Preserving Oman’s historical landmarks and environment to allow its cultural heritage and protect its ecosystem from increasing the number of tourists visiting the country. Generating additional employment opportunities for locals and focusing on hiring from the indigenous population for the majority of jobs in the tourism industry, including the low skilled and low paid employees. This essay will include two attractions under different sectors, which then will be compared and contrasted. Both attractions will be examined for the following areas: Historical Development – a brief overview of the history. Current provisions – what do they offer. Market Potential – current market target. Management issues Suggestions Conclusion In this essay the private sector will be Muttrah Souk as the first attraction and Wadi Bani Khalid as a public sector typed attraction. Both chosen attractions are based in Sultanate of Oman and will be examples for showing the reasons for the increases for the number of visitors in Oman with the historical value of the country being the primary attraction to many tourists from all over the globe. According to B.S. Badan Harish Bhatt (2007), travel and tourism is a major industry across the globe. In the current years the industry has witnessed unprecedented growth. The number of consumers that have increased on a demand of education and participatory travel experience has resulted in a variety of specialty niche markets such as, ecotourism, cultural heritage and agritourism. Lindsay W. Turner (2009) supports the above statement by stating that the “World international tourism increased by nearly 5.4% between 2005 and 2006. This level of increase represents a return to a stable growth pattern where it would be expected that growth would range between five and six percent. It also provides a benchmark figure against which to measure growth in larger markets. This, of course, was significantly before the world markets began to suffer from economic down turns, which have impacted the level of tourism across the world. However, the types of travel that are still desired have changed because of the earlier growth and less common locales are still seeing an increase in overall tourism from the rates
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