The ministry currently promotes tourism in international markets through its seven representative offices covering 14 countries.
“The ministry is studying new strategies this year aimed at entering new markets and intends to establish tourist representative offices in countries like Iran, China and Russia to attract tourists to the sultanate,” said Mohammed al Riyami, acting director, Foreign Affairs Office, at the Ministry of Tourism.
He added that the ministry seeks to open offices in these markets to increase the flow of tourists to the sultanate and to raise the profile of sultanate as a tourist destination with the cooperation of local partners such as airlines, hotels and travel companies.
The representative offices are also needed to keep the sultanate aware of the requirements of these markets, and how to actively fulfil those, he said.
“One of the most important plans for future expansion is to attract tourists from non-traditional markets, especially from Southeast Asia, Russia, and Iran.
These markets are characterised by group travel, and the ministry is working to provide everything that best suits these markets in terms of activities and all other tourism-related infrastructure,” he said.
Riyami added that the ministry is also seeking to attract tourists from the Japanese market.
Riyami pointed out that at present seven representative offices are mainly distributed across Europe and the GCC.
The head office in Dubai serves four other GCC countries. There is an additional one in Saudi Arabia. In Asia, there is a tourist representative office in India, in the commercial capital of Mumbai, and in Europe, there is an office in Britain that also serves Ireland.
The office in Germany covers Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In addition, there is an office in Dutch capital Amsterdam, French capital Paris, and Italy's Milan.