Around 120 officials from the government sector and tour operators took part in the seminar. Airlines and other stakeholders in Oman who are involved in facilitating the visit of Omani travellers to India were also present.
Puneet Sharma, first secretary (consular), Indian Embassy gave a detailed presentation and familiarised participants with visa regulations introduced by Government of India for simplifying the process of obtaining visa.
I R V Rao, assistant director of India Tourism, Dubai, also gave a presentation on ‘Incredible India’ and explained how the country is a preferred tourist destination.
People of Oman are familiar with India, its incredible beauty, rich diversity of cultures, languages and religions.
A notable feature of the people-to-people contacts between India and Oman in recent times has been the increasing tourist flow to ‘Incredible India’ from Oman, he said.
India is dotted with rich cultural, natural and historical sites, including a number of Unesco’s World Heritage Sites.
India is also endowed with gushing rivers, lofty snow-capped mountains, green plains, mystic deserts and serene backwaters etc.
With such incredible cultural diversity expressed in diverse attires, languages, customs, crafts, festivals and cuisines, India is a traveller’s paradise, the presentation showed.
India has emerged as a coveted tourist destination for Omanis, which is evident in the increase in the number of visas issued by the embassy, reaching over 95,000 in 2016.
During January-July, the embassy has issued over 49,000 visas to Omanis, including 31,900 tourist visas.
This is in addition to a significant number of Omanis who apply for eVisa.
In recent times, India has also emerged as a preferred destination for medical and wellness tourism, with numerous Omanis choosing India for their medical treatment at various state-of-the-art hospitals.