(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Muscat- Oman won the Heritage Tourist Destination Award at the Internationale Tourismus Börse (ITB) Berlin. The award is given by the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA).
H E Ahmed bin Nasser bin Hamad al Mehrzi, Minister of Tourism, received the award in a ceremony held at the occasion. It is being seen as recognition of the sultanate as one of the most preferred heritage tourist destinations.
With a large number of historical and civilisational landmarks, these destinations attract tourists and visitors from across the world.
The PATWA award is given annually for best heritage tourism destinations of the world as an appreciation of heritage and its role as a cultural tourism product.
H E Mehrzi lauded Oman's achievement and said that this award was also a recognition of the efforts made by the sultanate to promote cultural tourism.
This achievement is also a result of the efforts made for converting the many fortress of the sultanate into tourist spots. These forts were restored, renovated and prepared fully for receiving tourists. Sagar Ahluwalia, secretary general of PATWA, said that Oman was one of the most important countries of the world with many heritage and cultural landmarks. Its heritage sites were well prepared to attract tourists from across the world.
'The efforts made by the sultanate, through its ministries of Tourism and Heritage and Culture to present its historical and civilisational sites as tourism products have been exemplary. The diversity of natural beauty of Oman and its environment, including sand dunes, deserts, mountains and its serene beaches add value to its heritage tourism,' said Ahluwalia.
Oman, with its more than 500 forts is one of the most important countries in terms of its historical and cultural wealth. Some of its historical and cultural monuments have also been listed by the Unesco. PATWA is an organisation of travel writers that was founded in 1998, at the Pacific Area Travel Association (PATA) Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
It supports travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region and works both with the public and private sectors to support sustainable growth.