MoT expecting good visitor numbers this khareef season
The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) is expecting good number of visitors in this khareef season from June 21 to September 21. Visitor numbers are expected on the higher side as the season’s beginning coincides with the end of the holy month.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Asma Salim al Hajry, assistant director general, Tourism Promotions and Marketing, MoT, said, “The khareef season is attracting more visitors than ever as the number reached 652,000 until September 21 in 2016 as per the statistics of a survey conducted by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). These figures represent a rise compared to the same period in 2015. We hope that the same trend continues this year as well.”
As the three-month khareef season sees more visitor arrivals, the ministry is promoting it in a big way. “A special focus is being given to promote tourism in summer - khareef season in Salalah. We are promoting offers that visitors can avail from various tourism establishments and hotels, especially as the country enjoys different climate throughout the summer. Oman is the only country in the region enjoying different weather in different regions especially in mountains where the average temperature is 22°C. In the Governorate of Dhofar, monsoon season results in lush green scenery,” she added.
Asma said that MoT’s Marketing and Promotions Department has developed a plan to promote summer tourism which will target GCC and domestic travellers. “The campaign will be promoted through all social media channels and digital platforms. Our support to the industry partners is ongoing. Hotels and local operators have special summer offers for citizens and residents to benefit from.”
When asked about the new offerings Oman has for visitors this year, Asma said, “We have noticed that people from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other parts of GCC also travel to Oman on short vacations or weekend trips.
“That’s not all. Oman is also witnessing an increase in visits by those focusing on experiential travel. These are visitors who are interested in history, culture as well as activities such as sailing, cycling, trekking, golf, diving, spa and wellness and other special interest groups. In fact, these groups constitute one of the fastest growing segments of world tourism and Oman caters perfectly to this category.”
She said that the ministry is working hard to ensure that it continues to attract as well as meet the needs and requirements of all visitors be it from the GCC, experiential travellers or special interest groups.