Thursday, December 7, 2023
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Muscat – In a major boost for tourism, Dhofar is poised to welcome 400 charter flights from several countries this winter.

H E Salim Mohammed al Mahrouqi, Minister of Heritage and Tourism, announced the plan while highlighting Oman’s successful summer tourism season, in particular, this khareef in Dhofar.

Marking a healthy tourism season for Dhofar, 924,792 tourists visited between June 21 and August 31.

The plan for 400 charters from European countries and Russia in the winter underscores an all-year-round robust tourism strategy in the governorate.

H E Mahrouqi described these charters as a testament to the ministry’s efforts to globalise Oman’s appeal.

Sunday marked the beginning of the winter charter flight season in Dhofar with Salalah Airport welcoming the first charter from the Czech Republic, carrying 200 tourists, in keeping with the ministry’s efforts to position the governorate as a year-round global tourist destination.

Highlighting ongoing initiatives to attract more charter flights and cruise ships from Europe, Marwan Abdul Hakim al Ghassani, Director of the Tourism Promotion Department in Dhofar, said, “These successful efforts promise to increase arrivals at Salalah Airport this season, boosting the local economy.”

Ghassani emphasised the ministry’s multipronged approach to tourism promotion in Dhofar with an array of diverse tourism events and attractive programmes, both local and international, in the pipeline.

“The ministry has approved annual specialised events such as the frankincense season festival during the National Day holiday in November and the Empty Quarter Festival in January at the peak of the winter tourism season.

Ghassani described adventure activities, diverse marine sports, and desert tourism – the latter, particularly in the Empty Quarter – as vital contributors to Oman’s tourism portfolio.

“Dhofar’s rich heritage and archaeological sites like Al Baleed, Sumhuram, and Al Shasr, registered on the World Heritage List, alongside traditional markets, nature reserves, water springs, valleys, and caves, further enhance its global appeal.”

The increased charter flights are expected to generate substantial returns for the tourism and allied sectors in Dhofar, stimulating commercial activity and contributing added economic value to the region, he added.


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