most important factor was bringing nearly 50,000 senior industry delegates together under one roof to conduct business, network, identify new markets and learn about new global trends and developments. With a general recorded growth size of 2%, WTM welcomed 5,402 exhibitors from more than 200 regions and countries, with four new countries returning to the event after a long absence.
In this regard, Usama Bin Karim Al Haremi Corporate Communications and Media Department Manager of Oman Air said that the Sultanate of Oman Pavilion in which was designed to capture the essence of the Sultanate, its cultural heritage and future aspiration, besides Oman’s enormous tourism potentials did attract massive attention. The Sultanate participation reflected Oman’s strategic plans, aiming at promoting the country as a leading tourist destination in the region with substantial tourism projects, and development plans that aim to position tourism as a major non-oil economy sector. I think we as Oman Air have signified our prospect strategies also our objectives in course of the forthcoming expansion of our operations. Each day was an important business day for us at the event. The happening attracted nearly 50,000 senior industry delegates together under one roof. The quality of meetings has been good and up to our expectations. The information provided by the buyers has been useful, and I have been able to make some very good contacts.
He added that Visitors to WTM included accommodation suppliers, airlines, associations, coach operators, tour operators, travel agencies, technology companies, tourism organizations, tourist attractions, and others. WTM delivered a supreme quality audience with unrivalled top-level opportunities and managed to conduct significant business, identified new markets and network World, but the focus squarely was on the promotion of sustainable tourism.
“Oman Air was invited to attend the annual Guild event. Each year, the Guild gives out its own awards at a gala dinner on the eve of World Travel Market. Special annual awards, which include both tourism ventures worldwide and our own prestigious members' awards.
The British Guild of Travel Writers is a hugely important organisation, where in there website you will find everything you need to know about who is who and who does what in the travel industry. Founded in 1960, the BGTW is an association of over 270 writers, editors, photographers, producers, radio and television presenters involved in the world of travel.” He further said. He mentioned that the carrier offered two tickets LGW-MCT-LGW in the event’s raffle, also the same for the Captains of Industry lunch at WTM, in which was sponsored by the Omani Ministry of Tourism.
Al Haremi notified that other trends were identified at the opening of the World Travel Market 2007 in which included the rise of tourism in the Middle East that follows Muslim precepts. Euromonitor International report highlighted the potential for a boom in "Halal" tourism, which follows Islamic rules. The report forecasts that the number of tourists going to the Middle East will grow by 66 percent between now and 2011, by which time 55 million people should be visiting the region annually. The report mentioned that the Middle East nations are missing out by targeting Muslims and non-Muslims in exactly the same way and should tap into opportunities ranging from a Halal airline to women-only hotels. A large proportion of those visitors will be from other Middle Eastern countries, partly because of the difficulty of obtaining visas for Western Europe and the United States. The report stated that there was a market for a Halal startup airline, such as the budget airline set up by the Vatican earlier this year to transport pilgrims to holy sites. According to WTM, tourism revenue in the Middle East is expected to more than double from its current level to almost 51 billion dollars in 2011.
“WTM 2007 also witnessed a strong focus on green issues. “World Responsible Tourism Day” marked an important day in the 28-year-long history of the WTM with a series of activities covering carbon offsetting, water, poverty reduction and destinations. The major global initiative in association with the United Nations World Tourism Organization and supported by leading associations such as the World Travel & Tourism Council and the Pacific Asian Tourism Association highlighted the ever-increasing pressure on the tourism industry to promote environmentally friendly ways of seeing the world. In a speech broadcasted to all the WTM delegates, UNWTO Secretary General Francesco Frangialli said that Tourism is a central part of our society, our economic progress and our contribution to the war on poverty. The UNWTO has identified extreme poverty and climate change as two of the most trenchant issues with truly global impact. A number of environmental initiatives were also introduced to reduce waste, energy consumption and to use reusable products.” He concluded saying.