More than 16,000 people, many of them young Omanis, have been employed by the country’s tourism sector as of mid-2019, statistics released by the Ministry of Tourism show.
With Oman actively investing in tourism as one of the key sectors of economic expansion, the country’s tourism sector employed 16,487 people as of mid-2019.
The ministry itself has contributed by employing 140 national staff since the beginning of this year until August as part of the National Programme for Promoting Economic Diversification.
Statistics show that till the end of August 2019, the tourism sector has provided direct employment opportunities to as many as 11,868 men and 4,619 women. The hotel sector is the top employer providing 4,557 job opportunities, of which 2,701 are direct and 1,855 are indirect jobs.
The technical team of the Ministry of Tourism developed an action plan and divided the sector’s companies and sorted them according to each activity such as hotels, motels, resorts, hotel apartments, passenger air transport and other activities.
One thrust area for the programme was to set targets for companies to employ Omani nationals.
During the implementation phase, which was launched in March 2019, the task was to identify the number of Omanis that had to be employed in the companies operating in the tourism sector.
The targets for employment were fixed by interviewing representatives of various establishments and agreeing with them on the jobs and schedule of employment. The employment drive emphasised the need to adhere to the goals and to train Omanis in the necessary skills.
Through these interviews, the team was able to provide 375 job opportunities in the sector during the period between March and the end of July 2019.
Ramanuj Venkatesh, a financial analyst in the country, said, “This tourism push will be good for the economy in terms of creating jobs for the locals because they can be well paid, which will raise their standards of living and provide them with motivation to join this and allied sectors, hone their skills, and contribute more to the economy.”
A manager of a resort located close to the sea in Muscat said that they received three types of visitors: the first are Omanis from the local areas who come to spend the day, the second are locals and foreigners who come from across the country, and the third are overseas tourists.
“The benefit of this for all types of hotels is that word of Oman being a tourist nation spreads and more awareness of the opportunities available in tourism spreads among those who are looking to start or for a change in their career,” he said. “This helps us find suitable employees and skilled, willing workers.”
Aahna Gandhi, a travel blogger in the country, said, “The opening of the new airport has really helped open up Oman to the world because I feel that the old airport was not able to handle such a high volume of passengers. Oman is promoting itself as a tourism destination and the new airport will enable more people to come.”
“Oman really has a lot of amazing places to see and we try to visit at least one location every weekend,” she added.
“This will help a lot of young people get jobs as well as enable those who feel their skills are transferable to enter the tourism sector and provide their expertise. It would, however, be nice to see more women employed in this sector, in addition to bringing in expats who would be able to provide their expertise where needed.”