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Ensuring Oman remains an authentic destination

The five panellists discuss on stage

The panel was unanimous: Oman must be preserved as an authentic travel destination

At the Destination Track at ITB Berlin 2024, Oman was presented as conforming to the idea of an authentic destination. The panel all agreed that the country had succeeded in developing tourism consciously and at such a slow pace, ensuring that it remained authentic and original. As a travel destination the host country of ITB showcased its authentic nature, maintaining unchanged traditions and culture.

“Authenticity also stands for a destination’s ability to give visitors a place where they can find peace and discover themselves“, said Haitham Al Ghassani, Director General of Tourism Promotion at the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism.

Dr. Hashil Obaid Al Mahrouqi, CEO of the Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN Group), appealed for developing the “hardware“ in tourism without losing sight of “what we already have“. In his opinion, for those marketing tourism to focus on the authentic nature of his home country was the best way to offer visitors the experience of Oman’s hospitality, culture and history, while preserving those qualities at the same time.

“When we promote Oman we focus on three elements. First of all, it is a very safe and protected destination. Secondly, it is authentic. We are promoting Oman’s culture and heritage. And thirdly, we are promoting the many facets of Oman’s natural attractions“, Al Ghassani added. Focusing on sustainability, which helped protect this authenticity in all its diversity, was indispensable: “Tourism is made by the community and for the community. Only then does everyone benefit from it.“