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The Implementation Support & Follow-up Unit (ISFU), set up by the Diwan of Royal Court to accelerate the Sultanate’s economic diversification, is in advanced negotiations with Oman’s Ministry of Tourism (MoT), Ministry of Finance (MoF) and Royal Oman Police (ROP), to activate a new Tourism Development Fund (TDF). The fund is designed to support the MoT’s goals of driving economic development and creating jobs as more tourism-related projects are realised in the sultanate.
An ISFU report recently stated the importance of a tourism tax and its vital role in raising funds needed to support the tourism industry, in line with Oman’s economic diversification plans. The TDF, set up independently under the MoT, should see a share of tax funds to the ministry increase. Currently, the 4% tourism tax levied on entities in the sultanate is pooled in a government fund managed by the Ministry of Finance (MoF), and distributed among the MoT (60%), ROP (20%) and Ministry of Heritage and Culture (20%). The new TDF proposal will allocate a higher share of the tourism tax revenue to the MoT, according to ISFU.
The special unit is working with all concerned parties to ensure the fund is successfully and faithfully activated, by providing a clear mechanism for the process, based on which requisite approvals will be obtained from the MoF. Accordingly, a bank account under the name of the Tourism Development Fund will be set up by the MoT.
Meanwhile, ISFU is currently engaged in delivering more than 35 projects and initiatives related to tourism in Oman. This includes plans for nature parks, adventure activities, waterfront leisure developments, F&B hubs and activities, e-Visa and e-concierge initiatives, destination marketing efforts, establishment of a Tourism Sector Association, and an Oman Tourism and Convention Bureau.
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