The Sultanate of Oman Tourism’s Mona Tannous reveals how she landed a dream role and shares her tips for getting around Oman.
1. When and how did you get started in travel?
A personal tragedy lead me to leave a very successful career to become a full-time carer. When I was ready to go back to work a job in the travel industry came up (selling travel to travel agents!) but through various means I got into destination marketing and here I am.
2. What was your most amazing travel experience?
Doing the ultimate experience in Oman that even money can’t buy and that’s flying over the Hajjer Mountain ranges at over 7,500 feet above sea level in a black hawk helicopter.
3. What is the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
Nothing weird really stands out, but I have had a varied career working in so many areas from foreign exchange, fashion, logistics and even selling advertising at one stage.
4. What was the first country you travelled to?
Back to Lebanon the country of my birth (no I am not Omani).
5. What destinations are on your bucket list?
How long is this list..? South America (every single inch of it) Egypt, and would you believe I have never been to Bali.
6. What is your favourite spot in Oman?
I have two: Jabel Sifah, which is on the most eastern point of Muscat overlooking the Gulf of Oman. The sunrises and sunsets are still the most mesmerising I have ever seen. Also in Khaluf Bay where the white sugar dunes meet the Indian Ocean = breathtaking. Plus of course Oman’s incredible mountains, with Jabel Akhdar (the Green Mountain) being my favourite, especially seeing the way people have lived for hundreds of years just going about their life.
7. Who was your biggest mentor/influence growing up?
My dad – so wise and so incredible in his generosity in giving so much of himself to family and those he truly loved. Sadly he passed away two years ago.
8. How has working in travel changed you?
Travel has allowed me to embrace and fully accept different cultures, religions and people from all walks of life. It has humbled me and allowed me to have an attitude of gratitude for every single experience that has come my way.
9. What is your biggest life achievement to date?
Being nominated for the Telstra Businesswoman Awards in 2014 and also Sultanate of Oman winning “Best Tourism Board – International” in 2012.
10. What is your number one in-flight travel tip?
Noise cancellation headphones – a MUST.
11. What is your number one tip for visiting Oman?
Be respectful when travelling to the interior, especially the villages where people still work the land and live like they have for generations. You are going through their home and farms so be respectful. It’s in their humble existence that your own life will be enriched.
12. What advice would you give to someone starting out in the travel industry?
Be patient and be respectful to people who are in senior positions as they have forged the path ahead of you. They were in your shoes once so learn from them. Be grateful for every opportunity and don’t come to work with an attitude of expectation – rewards will come to you in time.
Have a question for Mona on Oman or her travel experiences? Leave it below and we’ll get you the answer.
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