Kempinski to support Oman to attract more quality tourists
By Saleh al Shaibany — MUSCAT: Dec 12: Kempinski Hotel, set to be officially inaugurated in the second half of 2017, aims to help Oman’s ambitions to attract quality tourists to the country, its General Manager told the Observer in an exclusive interview. Konstantin Zeuke said he would bring in his international experience and the proud tradition of the famous European luxury brand Kempinski to Oman to push forward the tourism drive.
“Oman is an ideal destination for tourists. We will work with the local authorities, travel agents and tour guides to promote the interest of the country and highlight all the major attractions. Kempinski has a rich tradition of hospitality and we plan to bring it here as part of the tourism campaign,” Zeuke told the Observer.
Kempinski have been hoteliers since 1897 catering for luxury holiday resorts, business and spas around the world. The hotel’s uniqueness is designed for guests who value five star holidays and luxury getaways and it would work well for Oman’s tourism plans.
Nevertheless Zeuke said, although Kempinski follows the finest traditions of its European heritage, under his management, the hotel will infuse local cultures and customs for the guests to enjoy what Oman has to offer.
“We will be the ambassador of Oman’s rich culture. I know this country has a proud background. Tourists do not come here for tall buildings or big shopping malls. Oman is different from other regional countries. It has a fascinating history, beautiful beaches, sceneries and attractive mountain background. It is also attracting water sports such as snorkelling and diving, which is increasingly becoming popular to tourists from different part of the world,” Zeuke explained.
The Sultanate has received over 2 million tourists in 2015 and the number of visitors has been steadily increasing at the rate of 7 per cent per annum in the last five years. With the current situation of falling oil revenues, the government is stepping up its efforts to diversify the economy. Tourism is the pivotal part of it. At the moment, tourism is contributing to less than 5 per cent of the total revenues while oil and gas over 80 per cent.
Zeuke stressed that Kempinski is not seeking to compete with other hotels already operating in the country but to work with them towards common goals and targets.
“Competition is healthy for the country. We are here to work together with the tourism campaign by helping the government to achieve its objectives. For example, I am impressed with the Ministry of Tourism’s efforts to build recreation, convention facilities and more hotels, giving opportunities to other hotel chains. Kempinski is here to be part of the team,” he said.
He gave an example of resorts in the Jabal Al Akhdhar which Kempinski would work out joint packages with them to bring in tourists to enjoy the breathtaking views and the tranquility of the mountainside’s life.
The Kempinski general manager also paid tribute to the stability of the country under the reign of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos.
“ It is a trouble free country and that is the other reason why Oman is an ideal destination for many people who want to come to enjoy a quiet holiday and meet the friendliest people in the region,” he added.