The Oman Ministry of Tourism recently revealed that significant investments will be poured in to transform ancient houses into heritage inns and guest houses in an aim to boost tourism efforts promoting the Sultanate’s vibrant local heritage. As one of the Ministry’s top priorities, the preservation of ancient houses - which are considered architectural treasures that show Oman’s archaeological character – are central to national initiatives showcasing the unique heritage and rich history and civilization of the Sultanate.Ancient local neighborhoods have already been restored using innovative engineering and architectural techniques to turn them into an attractive tourist destination. The Ministry said that tourists can visit these communities, among others, to get a glimpse of the Omani way of life during the ancient times as well as gain a rich cultural experience by immersing themselves into activities that define authentic local traditions. Heritage inns, green cabins, and guest houses will serve as a unique style of accommodation for the growing number of travelers arriving to the Sultanate.
The Ministry’s announcement is expected to result in higher tourist arrivals to meet the government’s goal of attracting 11 million local and international visitors by 2040. Boosting domestic tourism will also lead to new job opportunities for citizens and a diversified national economy.
Saleh bin Ali Al Khaifi, Director of Promotion and Marketing Department, Oman Ministry of Tourism, said that preserving heritage houses and building green houses are also aligned with the Sultanate’s intensified tourism initiatives that are responsive to the rapidly changing global tourism community and to the international environmental sustainability calls. Oman also aimed to sustain its top position on the list of the best cultural and heritage tourist destinations for 2019.
Al Khaifi added: “Investing in heritage homes is a step in the right direction amid our continued efforts to entice more tourists from all over the world to come visit Oman. Therefore, we are moving forward with our mega tourism projects aimed at transforming old traditional homes into heritage inns with the best services, while preserving and protecting the old structures and the atmosphere of the neighborhoods in our ancient areas. We will observe the highest standards in these projects, keeping sustainability and the finest hospitality in mind. We look forward to bringing the Oman experience of all tourists to new heights in conjunction with us promoting sustainability and heritage tourism, a sector that is fundamental to the Sultanate’s development and global positioning.”
Global demand for heritage inns is growing, with more and more tourists preferring to experience nature. Oman, which is accompanied with a pleasant climate throughout the year and is known for its hospitality, is celebrated for its unique cultural heritage, among others. The Sultanate has been taking proactive steps to meet the unique and ever-evolving requirements of its visitors.