The Sultanate of Oman is experiencing record visitation from Australia and New Zealand, thanks to the new world-class Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre, due to open in 2016.

Contributing to this record increase, Oman has already attracted significant events from Australia, including high-achiever incentive programs for Mercedes Benz and News Ltd.

The Sultanate of Oman’s Ministry of Tourism country manager for Australia and New Zealand, Mona Tannous, said in 2011-2012 Oman achieved a staggering 72 per cent increase in visitation from Australia and New Zealand, followed by 11 per cent in 2012-2013 and 10 per cent in 2013-2014, as a result exceeding those from European countries.

“We often talk about Oman being the best-kept secret in Arabia. But clients keep telling us that Oman’s unique natural beauty, heritage and culture combined with the renowned warmth and hospitality of Omani people makes Oman the best-kept tourism secret on the planet,” Ms Tannous said.

With more than 10,500 hotel rooms available in Muscat by 2018, the opening of the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) is the catalyst for major business events in the Sultanate.

OCEC’s venue manager AEG Ogden agrees that marketing efforts over the past three years have gained traction with Oman now being seriously considered as one of the world’s most exciting emerging convention destinations.

AEG Ogden’s group manager convention sales development, Rochelle Uechtritz said: “With numerous convention bids in the pipeline as far ahead as 2021, the operations team will ensure that each and every delegate will experience a special blend of traditional Omani hospitality.”