Oct. 18, 2021


Shabib Al Mamari

Oman

Shabib Al Mamari

Managing Director, Visit Oman

“Visit Oman provides a win-win proposition for its travel trade partners.”

BIO

As Managing Director of Visit Oman, Mr. Al'Maamari is responsible for running all facets of the business and for leading the company in fulfilling its objective in connecting the world to Oman's beauty, while taking the local Omani travel and tourism sector to new heights. Prior to joining Visit Oman, Mr. Al'Maamari was a Group Chief – Sector Development and Promotion, at Oman Aviation Group and a board member of Transom. During his tenure, he was responsible for establishing business development policies and M&A strategies in line with the sector's expansion plans, as well as marketing the sector in source markets by designing and executing global media campaigns through participation in global exhibitions. In addition, he was in charge of maintaining key stakeholder relationships, growing the ecosystem function across business units, and acting as a sector development ambassador in local and international markets. Prior to joining Oman Aviation Group, Mr. Al'Maamari was the Communications & External Affairs Manager at BP Oman and a member of the leadership team in charge of operations. During his tenure, the BP Oman team commissioned First Gas for Khazzan Field (the largest tight gas project in the world in 2017) and managed all internal/external communications and events. In addition, he led the expansion of the social investment programs while growing the existing ones. Before joining BP Oman, Mr. Al'Maamari held the role of Executive Director at Injaz Oman, where he played a key role in setting up the organization's Oman chapter. He also held the role of Researcher (Finance Department) at the Diwan Royal Court of Oman, bringing his experience from the Ministry of Manpower where he held the role of Economical Researcher. Mr. Al'Maamari holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Missouri in the USA.


Visit Oman is the first authorized, digitally native online booking and information gateway for Oman's travel trade sector. What have been the key steps the company has followed to complete this project?

Following the initial VisitOman.om brand launch at Oman ministry level in June 2021, Visit Oman is now entering its commercial launch phase – in 4Q2021 – which will facilitate the platform's evolution into a dynamic, all-encompassing resource which will seamlessly connect the entire accredited Omani tourism supply chain to the travel trade sector in key international source markets. Once launched, VisitOman.om will include a powerful live booking engine that allows for easy supply and demand integration with trade partners. The brand VisitOman.om initiative falls within the broader, existing Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MoHT) National Tourism Strategy 2040. It also aligns with Oman Investment Authority's overarching investment strategy, while supporting the Sultanate's continued drive towards economic diversification, as well as the strategic directives being carried out as part of Oman Vision 2040. We work closely with our key stakeholders – the Oman Investment Authority, OMRAN, Oman Ministry of Tourism, Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre, Oman Vision 2040, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, Oman's Chamber of Commerce, and the SME Development Authority.

In the advent of the digital revolution, Visit Oman will serve to digitize the tourism supply chain in Oman. What challenges has the company faced?

Visit Oman carries out direct B2B booking with the platform's travel trade partners. This travel distribution function involves selling and promotional engagement with tour operators, travel wholesalers, travel agents and travel consultants. Visit Oman is then on hand to provide a seamless digital connection to Oman's entire tourism supply ecosystem. In terms of challenges faced, a large percentage of Visit Oman's focus following the initial VisitOman.om brand launch has been to create market awareness of our services, and to highlight the many benefits the platform is poised to deliver. This is an ongoing process, which Visit Oman's commercial, operations, digital, and quality assurance departments are collectively contributing to. Right now, potential travel trade partners and local suppliers can find out more about Visit Oman via www.visitoman.om

The Visit Oman platform connects visitors with “unlimited discovery” in Oman. What kind of experience do you aim to provide to your clients?

Yes, our stated vision is to be Oman's extensive travel booking gateway that connects you to unlimited discovery. Also, one of our stated objectives is to provide a high level of service that upholds national and international standards through a seamless, fully digital experience to customers and suppliers. Through flights, accommodation, tours, attractions, dining, and transportation suppliers – and many more – we aim to connect the world to Oman's beauty, while taking the local tourism sector to new heights.

Visit Oman has established new initiatives that enhance the growth of the tourism sector in the Sultanate. At what extent do you believe public-private partnerships are important in attaining this end?

Visit Oman's stated mission is to build strong, strategic, and commercial partnerships in all key source markets, and with Omani suppliers, to deliver one connected booking platform that is designed to enable the unlimited Omani traveler experience. With this in mind, the public-private partnership model is a fundamental driver for our operations. In terms of enhancing tourism growth in Oman, Visit Oman has four overarching objectives: Firstly, to communicate Oman's tourism supply globally. Secondly, to increase inbound tourism. Thirdly, to introduce a quality accreditation process for the Omani travel trade suppliers featured on the site. And fourth, to maximize economic, social and sustainable development in the region.

This platform boosts the contribution of local and international partners. How will this influence foreign investment and business opportunities in the Sultanate?

Visit Oman provides a win-win proposition for its travel trade partners. Suppliers like hotels, tour operators, events companies, cultural institutions and dining establishments can leverage Visit Oman's services and support to deliver their customers greater ease of trip planning, a more seamless travel experience, and greater quality-assurance guarantees. Along with the above, Visit Oman is serving to create a healthy competitive market between established, best-in-class suppliers, while at the same time supporting emerging suppliers. In addition, Visit Oman is contributing to greater business and human capability development in the Sultanate's travel and tourism sector, while further stimulating productivity in Oman's economy.

What are your goals and expectations for 4Q2021, and into the next year?

Looking ahead, Visit Oman is working to realize a key set of targets by 2025, which form part of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MoHT) National Tourism Strategy 2040 – including 100,000-plus new visitors per year, 7-plus tourism clusters activated within the Sultanate, 5,000-plus direct & in-direct jobs opertunitis, and over OMR 100,000,000 in GDP contribution. Visit Oman will look to play a prominent role in developing Oman's Travel industry in accordance with government's economic diversification agenda, to ultimately fulfill the illustrious Oman Vision 2040 aims.