Muscat, October 22, 2020: As part of its celebration of Omani Women’s Day, Oman Tourism College (OTC) organised its annual forum ‘Women in Tourism’ on Monday, 19 October 2020. The 6th edition of the forum brought to light the success stories of inspiring women in the tourism and hospitality sectors, and discussed the indirect impact of COVID-19 on the sector and its employees. The aim of conducting this annual forum is to celebrate the growing participation of women in the tourism and hospitality sectors in the Sultanate.
Commenting on the importance of holding the forum, Dr. Abdulkarim Sultan Al Mughairi, Dean of OTC said, “By organising this annual forum, we seek to recognise the efforts of women, highlight their pivotal role in the growth of the tourism sector and their valuable contribution towards enriching the experiences of visitors within this beautiful country. The challenges that we are currently experiencing from the Coronavirus pandemic has greatly impacted the tourism sector. With several safety measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus, it has become more important than ever to create a platform for communication, discussion, sharing experiences, and reviewing challenges and solutions to overcome this critical period. I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to all of the speakers and participants of the forum and wish them further progress and success in their future.”
OTC invited several inspirational speakers from the industry to share their experiences with the audience and highlight the lessons learned from this pandemic. Manal Al Kiyumi, OCEC Marketing Manager, emphasised the need to adapt to the current situation and accept change while continuing to work via virtual communication platforms. She underlined the need to unite efforts in enhancing the cooperation of all sector representatives, to overcome the current challenges and benefit from the collective experience to make the change. Wisal Al Rashdi, a Licensed Omani Tour Guide, pointed out the importance of utilising digital platforms to achieve personal and professional goals since it allows users to hold discussions, exchange views and share experiences, virtually. In this way, they can benefit and learn from each other. In addition, posting success stories can be a source of inspiration and support for other women working in the sector.
Anna-Marie Dowling, IHG Oman Area General Manager, spoke about the need to embrace change and adapting accordingly. She highlighted the need to view the current crisis as an opportunity to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to ensure the continuity of business. She also stressed the importance of adhering to the basic preventive measures, including maintaining social distancing, wearing a face mask and regularly washing hands to continue working under the current conditions. Ghaniya Al Mawaali, OmanSail Client Services Account Manager, addressed the need to view this crisis as an opportunity for individuals to analyse and assess the goals they want to achieve and methods to see them to fulfilment. Furthermore, she mentioned that it was vital to discover other aspects of an organisation and leverage resources in creating a positive impact, alongside extending support to the community.
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.