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Regional forums

To build up a system of sustainable tourism the basic step is to implement regional forums in each part of the country. The main idea is to involve as many people as possible into the process of planning. As already mentioned before, these forums should be self-governed and be responsible for the coordination between the residents of the region, the touristic managers and the higher institutions. One of these higher institutions could be a “National Forum” with a representative of each “Regional Forum”. The essential meaning of these forums is that people in Oman can develop their own ideas and not only use current planning methods of other countries.
The Regional Forum itself should be installed permanently as a regional office where some constantly employed regional managers coordinate and provide information. This means not only information about tourism in general but also about possibilities of touristic education or further training, about job opportunities in the sector of tourism, funding opportunities,...
In the build-up phase it is not necessary to award this institution special competences, because the main aim at the beginning is to raise people's awareness for participation and draw their interest to the topic. Everybody can get information and add ideas at the regional forum.
In a second step, public discussions and workshops at regular intervals should be installed where local stakeholders develop ideas for sustainable tourism. The regional managers take part only as moderators and mediators. It is desirable that qualified and innovative results can be developed from the region and easily put into action.
The Regional Forums cannot only be used for the development of sustainable tourism but also for other issues like energy awareness in general or other projects concerning the future of Oman.
As the field of tourism is often conflict-filled because different stakeholders (for example investors, environmentalists or the ministry of tourism) have different ideas about what sustainable and successful tourism is, the regional forums should help to solve conflicts already on a regional level. The forums therefore also have the function of discussion platforms, where the stakeholders can bring in their ideas and concerns.
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