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Ministry for Tourism to offer tourists free Wi-Fi access at castles in Oman.

by Times News ServiceThe title for this year "Tourism and Digital Transformation corresponds to the qualitative development and the most important strategic tools to serve the tourism sector. -Supplied photo

Muscat: Tourists will be able to access free Wi-Fi services on the go at five castles, the Ministry of Tourism has said. Through a strategic partnership with "Omantel", free Wi-Fi services will be installed in five castles developed by the Ministry of Tourism. It will hopefully include 35 castle fortresses. This application is designed with the characteristics and features that will attract tourists. The Ministry of Tourism has also signed a strategic partnership agreement with Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) on the infrastructure for the telecommunications sector and information services and broadband services for mobile internet and value-added services technology. The agreement comes within the framework of strengthening cooperation between the public and private sectors to support the Oman tourism strategy.

The agreement is an important one for the tourism sector, as it will provide solutions with the introduction of modern technology, which is one of the fundamentals for competitiveness in the tourism sector. The agreement will open the door to provide many services for tourists visiting the Sultanate. Meanwhile, the Sultanate is set will celebrate World Tourism Day on September 27. The celebration this year comes under the theme, "Tourism and digital transformation", in line with the development of the tourism sector through several initiatives that promote innovation in the field of digital technology. It comprises the issue of the digital shift in the Sultanate's tourism sector. This can be done by initiating the Omani strategy for tourism, which includes the development of the sector, investment and entrepreneurship, planning and management of market operations and the competitive development of human capital and leadership. The tourism sector in the Sultanate is one of the main pillars of the national programme for economic diversification (implementation), where the implementation of projects and initiatives generates capital expenditure worth OMR16.3 billion. This includes 86 per cent from the private sector and 14 per cent from the public sector. According to an annual referendum organised by an electronic platform specialising in statistics and global tourism rankings, the Sultanate has also been chosen as a favourite tourist destination in the world in 2017. Ahmed bin Nasser Mahrazi, Minister of Tourism, stressed that the ministry has given great importance to digital transformation in the tourism sector to simplify and facilitate procedures through the national project. Government agencies are working on the project for digital transformation to bring digital transactions rather than traditional trading, and provide integrated and relevant government services of high quality. During a speech on the occasion of World Tourism Day, the minister said that the title for this year (tourism and digital transformation) corresponds to the qualitative development of information that the world is witnessing in technology and the most important strategic tools to serve the tourism sector. The ministry is keeping pace with rapid technological developments and providing great importance to serve the tourism sector in the Sultanate, contributing to the acceleration of services provided to beneficiaries and investors, and promoting diversified tourism products. The tourism minister stated that the ministry has provided an electronic system integrated with the relevant competent bodies to allow investors to complete their transactions electronically through the e-portal system of the ministry. Mahrazi added that the ministry is also replacing paper transactions with electronic administrative procedures, which can contribute to the acceleration of doing business in the ministry in order to serve the investors and the sector in general. He pointed out that the e-national projects have a gate link that enables the investor to submit his requests for tourism services electronically through one station, in order to simplify and facilitate procedures for investors in the tourism sector. As part of the employment in modern technologies and access to target markets, Mahrazi said that the ministry has also recently launched a website to promote the tourism products in the Sultanate. The "Discover Oman" website promotes the tourism potential in the Sultanate in several languages in the world, as well as conducts a special promotion to reflect the tourism potential and the availability of tourist services and social networking accounts. He pointed out that the Ministry of Tourism, in coordination with the Information Technology Authority, is implementing a digital transformation project to serve the tourism sector in the Sultanate and to provide integrated, high-quality electronic services to keep pace with the latest technology to serve the tourism sector in the areas of services and promotions. The minister called for a combination of government and private efforts, as well as those of individuals to take advantage of digital data transformation to serve the tourism sector in the Sultanate and to create awareness to employ these techniques to create added value. In the area of digital transformation, the Ministry of Tourism has worked to provide basic infrastructure and communication through the third parties concerned. This was done to take advantage of the unified systems and provide a data centre with the latest specifications and technologies, in addition to the ministry and the association. The ministry also works periodically to review and update the e-tourism electronic content portal of Oman, and the ministry is finalising the preparation and adoption of the first and second versions from the Ministry of Tourism Directory Services. The ministry has several plans to develop digital transformation and provide employment in the tourism sector. This includes the improvement and simplification of procedures and coordination with partners and other relevant government agencies to provide an integrated government service, improvement and upgradation of some of the internal electronic systems, as well as implementation of several technical projects targeting tourists and marketing of tourism products in the Sultanate in a faster and better manner. The Ministry of Tourism has also developed many social networking platforms to promote a tool to raise awareness over sustainable tourism and interaction with the pioneers of social networking against practices and misconceptions that are harmful to biodiversity and natural resources. The website of the Ministry of Tourism will be comprehensive and responsive to all tourist requirements across all tourist destinations. It will also provide facilities and services to companies to contribute to meet their aspirations, stressing that the process of the development of modern technologies will continue to invest in better plans and programmes.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Geographic Code:7OMAN
Date:Sep 26, 2018
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