Muscat: The Royal Oman Police (ROP) announced all applications for tourist and express visas will only be available online from March 21 and not at the service desks. Applicants must visit the website, upload travel papers and attach all the requested documents.

tourists are expected to visit Oman annually by 2040

They must pay the fees using credit/debit card through the official e-payment portal. They will then receive the e-visa approval notification by email, following which they should print the document and present it to immigration staff at the airport.

A ROP official told Gulf News the e-visa service will help visitors avoid long queues at the visa counters at the airport.

The ROP had introduced its new e-visa scheme last year to make it easier for travellers, hotels and tour operators to book travel visas for guests.

In October, 2017, Oman expanded the list of countries whose citizens can come to the Sultanate on a non-sponsored e-visa. It included India, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Albania, Uzbekistan, Iran, Panama, Bhutan, Bosnia, Peru, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Maldives, Georgia, Honduras, Salvador, Tajikistan, Guatemala, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Costa Rica, Laos, Mexico and Nicaragua.

The move came as Oman aims to boost tourism revenues, given that the government has implemented various austerity measures to cope with the plunge in oil prices.

In 2016, Oman approved the National Strategy for Tourism 2040, which aims for a 6 per cent growth in the tourism sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product, and a target of 5 million visitors by 2040 — double the number Oman currently gets (2.7 million).