MUSCAT: Visitors are pouring in various tourism destinations in the Sultanate of Oman during the winter tourism season, which is one of the most important tourism seasons in the country.
Meanwhile, the efforts of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MHT) are integrating with the partners of tourism sector, to provide attractive products and services through which the visitor can live a unique experience.
The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism is working to promote the winter season among the local community, targeting citizens and residents, as well as tourists from the abroad exporting tourism markets.
Commenting on this topic, So’adah Abdullah Al Harthy, Director of Market Development at the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, said “MHT always promotes Oman’s winter tourism season of the current year in targeted markets across Europe, Asia and GCC countries via promotional campaigns, holding business meetings with travel and tourism agents, and organizing introductory trips for media and tourism agencies”.
She added that for the same purpose of promoting the winter season of Oman, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism also holds workshops in India and GCC countries, in addition to organising introductory workshops in Italy and Germany.
She emphasised that targeting these markets came from the standpoint that these markets are considered a primary source of tourists.
She also added that the Sultanate of Oman’s participation in important international tourism exhibitions, such as the World Travel Fair in London 2023, has contributed to promote the Omani tourism destinations and acquainting the visitors of the diversity of products and experiences in the Sultanate of Oman’s tourism destinations.
She pointed out that there are also many opportunities to attract visitors from global tourism markets, as the Sultanate of Oman is an official partner of the ITBBerlin 2024, the leading travel exchange. This partnership will provide greater scope for displaying cultural elements and features, which will help promote the tourism in Oman and attract tourists to its destinations.
For his part, Talal Humaid Al Khusaibi, Assistant Director General for Tourism Licensing and Investor Services at the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, stated that the hotel establishments of various types in the Sultanate of Oman include more than 32,000 rooms across the governorates.
These hotel establishments are exerting efforts to modernise and maintain their facilities while the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism works to assure that these hotels are complying with the required specifications.
He clarified that the hotel establishments provide many diverse tourism packages and organizing trips to major tourism destinations.
He added that the Sultanate of Oman offers a spectrum of experiences and destinations in the winter season. They are characterized by exceptional weather, including the camping experience, which witnesses a good demand from visitors from inside and outside the Sultanate of Oman.
Camping is considered one of the tourism products that the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism is keen to promote due to its importance. Camping during winter represents an added value to the tourism sector, and provides a unique tourism experience that is integrated with the other tourism experiences in the Sultanate of Oman as the country enjoys diverse natural marine, mountainous and desert environments.
In order to highlight various types of sheltering and accommodation patterns in the country, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism is encouraging the establishment of camps in accordance with the required controls that take into account the quality and safety specifications to highlight the desert features enjoyed by the Sultanate of Oman, in addition encouraging the addition of hotel rooms to accommodate the growing number of tourists annually.
Talal Humaid Al Khusaibi, Assistant Director General for Tourism Licensing and Investor Services at the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism also clarified that the winter camps offer tourism programmes and recreational activities for visitors to familiarize with desert life and Omani authenticity, including camel riding, climbing on the sand, watching the sunrise and sunset, wandering in the sand, and enjoying adventure trips across the desert.
The winter tourism camps provide local added value by enriching local communities through enabling local residents to provide support services, sell local products, and employ citizens to organize tourist tours for visitors, provide tourism services and activities that complement the role played by the camps.
Al Jabal Al Akhdar stands at the forefront of sites that represent a unique tourism destination which is preferred by many tourists for its various tourism activities. The activities include the exploration experience, the adventure trips and the chance of experiencing Omani culture and history within its environment.
Talal Al Khusaibi added that Al Jabal Al Akhdar enjoys an exceptional weather and stunning nature, where the temperature drops below zero in some winter seasons. It also includes valleys, heritage villages, and many attractions that were and still appeal to lovers of adventure and exploration. The visitor to this area can enjoy a very different experience, where the cold atmosphere, enjoyable mountain life, and the unique agricultural products contribute to attract more tourists to that tourism destination.
Furthermore, visiting the Al Jabal Al Akhdar provides tourists and visitors the opportunity to meet the local community and learn about their daily life, while the tourists or visitors to Al Jabal Al Akhdar can enjoy a fun and interesting adventure and a walking trip through the mountain trails.
The Turtle Reserve is also one of the main tourism destinations in the Sultanate of Oman, where its visitors are keen to visit it throughout the year. The reserve is one of the eco-tourism destinations enjoyed by Oman. The country seeks to preserve as it is a national treasure which contributes to promote the sustainable tourism.
Foreign and Arab tourists, as well as citizens and residents, are keen to visit the turtle reserve to enjoy watching turtles for relaxation.
As for the Governorate of Dhofar, it has enhanced the winter tourism season by implementing tourism programmes, activities and harnessing all means and tools that would enhance the governorate’s position as one of the most prominent destinations on the tourism map.
In addition to the picturesque nature and the heritage and archaeological sites listed in the World Heritage List, which are Al Baleed, Sumhuram, Shasr, in addition to the Museum of the Land of Frankincense, the historical castles and forts in Taqah, Mirbat and Sadah, the natural markets, water springs, valleys, caves, adventure tourism activities, marine sports activities and desert tourism. All these attractions are contributing to diversify the tourism experiences including the adventure tourism activities, marine sports activities and desert tourism in Al Rub’ Al Khali. -ONA