Attracting more Tourists to Oman, Thailand and the Maldives

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Tourists mean money. Tourists mean economic growth so in the straightened times we find ourselves in, some countries are doing their utmost to get us to visit them.
In the Middle East, neighbours are trying to clone Dubai’s success. Oman aims to quadruple the number of tourists visiting there to 12 million by 2020 and has therefore announced it is spending $10 billion on airport expansion, 10 new resort developments and a major convention centre. Will Oman look like Dubai does now in a few years? Perhaps I should see Oman in the next year or two so that I can see what I am told by people who’ve been there, is a prettier and more traditional place.
Thailand had been hit by opposing political factions who virtually closed Bangkok last Decemeber and have disrupted an international gathering in Pattaya and led to some ugly incidents in Bangkok this month- at least according to TV and newspaper reports. So the Thai government reacted to the issues in December by waiving all visa fees until June 4th this year. After the latest troubles will it extend it again? Usefully for those of us who have had to change planes at Bangkok before going on to places like Australia, it is now possible to leave the airport for a few hours’ sightseeing without needing a visa. This year the tourism authority is hoping 750,000 of us Brits will go there as part of the 14 million tourists they expect.
Think of the Maldives and the impression is of warmth, shimmering waters and sun drenched beaches. And its a bit expensive and posh. But this is going to change (not the weather or the attractions but the expensiveness). The government is going to allow the building of 2 and 3 star hotels as well as guesthouses. And some will be built on uninhabited islands. The idea is to attract a wider market and those backpackers and students who head for India and Sri Lanka but stay away from what has always been seen as a luxury resort.
So in the standard brochures of five years from now, will Oman and the Maldives become common offerings and join Thailand?

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