Indian minister Dr Mahesh Sharma has lauded Oman for providing a comfortable and happy life to its Indian residents. “Some 80,000 Omanis visit India every year. Also, it is good that Indians represent 20 per cent of the population in Oman, and they are comfortable and happy,” observed Dr Sharma, India’s Minister of State for Culture and Tourism and Civil Aviation, who was in Oman to attend the second World UNWTO/UNESCO conference on tourism and culture.
A large number of Omanis travel to India for leisure, business and medical purposes every year. At the same time, an increasing number of Indians are moving to Oman, thanks to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s regime which has given the expats all the comfort and peace they need, he remarked. “If I talk of Oman and India, both countries have realised the potential for tourism. Both countries have great potential for tourism, which could be a revenue maker and an employment generator, so it serves multiple portfolios,” noted Dr Sharma. Tourism helps in bringing people together and understanding each other’s cultures better, he stressed. “It will help in getting people closer, and more has been talked about how culture and tourism can bring peace to humanity worldwide,” he added.
Speaking about the conference, he said, “UN has played an important role in culture and tourism. This year’s theme was sustainable development goals. Dr Talib Rifai, who is the secretary general of the UNWTO, has defined culture and tourism.” He said if culture is our soul, tourism is our face; if culture is the story, tourism is the author. He has explained how beautifully it is linked. “Bringing 163 countries together under the UN, I think it is more important that people from the world have gathered to share their views,” he mentioned.