Muscat, January 1, 2020: Oman Tourism College (OTC) organised the fifth edition of its annual forum ‘Women in Tourism’, at its premises on 30 December, under the patronage of HE Dr Tahira Abdul Khaliq Al Lawati, Shura representative of the Wilayat of Muttrah. The forum is conducted annually to celebrate the growing female participation in the tourism and hospitality sectors in the Sultanate. This year’s event witnessed a remarkable attendance of over 200 participants from the sector including hotels, travel agencies, travel bloggers, students and government agencies.
Highlighting the importance of the forum, Sariya Al Ismaili, Acting Director of Marketing at OTC said, “At OTC, we are driven by our pivotal role in supporting the tourism sector by providing the labour market with highly qualified national workforce. The hosting of this event is aimed at empowering women and supporting them in recognising their importance towards contributing towards the sector. The event was a platform to showcase available opportunities and to share in the testament and success stories of female entrepreneurs who have been able to achieve success in their own way, in respective fields.”
As part of the forum, OTC invited a number of speakers from the industry to share their experiences with the attendees. The participating speakers included Nadhira Al Harthy, Adventurer, who gave a presentation titled ‘The Road to Everest’; Shamsa Al Wardi, HR Manager at Kempinski Hotel Muscat, who spoke about her career in the tourism sector; May Al Kaabi, Tour Guide, who shed light on the international standards set for tour guiding and Jihad Al Harassi, tourism lecturer, who talked about how to achieve a balance between work and personal life. The forum included a panel discussion entitled, ‘A Female Perspective: Overcoming Challenges’, which involved attendees in discussions about topics related to the challenges faced by women working in the tourism sector and how to overcome them. The event also showcased the various opportunities presented by the sector for the young generation and Omani women in particular. It concluded with an interactive Q&A session.
“74% of total graduates from the college in 2019, were women. In line with our framework of supporting these students, we introduced them to successful models of Omani women working in the sector to enrich their knowledge through various discussions and seminars. Moreover, with the Sultanate’s entry into the list of global tourist destinations, there will be an influx in the number of tourists from all over the world. Therefore, the tourism sector provides several prospects for institutions in this field alongside opportunities for entrepreneurs to start their own businesses,” Al Ismaili added.
OTC, a subsidiary of Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN), is keen to organise various activities and events aimed at keeping its students aware of the latest updates in the tourism and hospitality sectors and their related fields. The college placed a great emphasis on the various training programmes to enhance the skills and knowledge of its students to prepare them for their role in developing the tourism sector in the Sultanate and take advantage of the job opportunities it provides. The tourism sector is one of the most productive sectors that provide job opportunities, as the statistics of the World Tourism Organization indicate that 1 in every 11 jobs in the world is related to the tourism sector.