Oman eyes record tourist flow from Saudi
Jeddah, February 6, 2014
Oman aims to sustain the strong influx of Saudi travellers to the Sultanate which was witnessed last year during the Salalah festival, said a senior tourism official on the sidelines of a key travel summit in Jeddah.
The 'Jeddah International Travel & Tourism Exhibition (JTTX),' is a major travel and tourism event which gathers visitors and delegates from the Mena, Asia and Europe to explore prime inbound, domestic and outbound tourism opportunities in the Kingdom.
"Over the past few years, Oman has embarked on a vast development of its infrastructure, services and financial incentives to enhance our tourism offerings and capabilities. Saudi Arabia has been especially appreciative of what we have to offer, which is an ideal venue for rest, relaxation and adventure tourism," remarked Ghasi Humaid Al Hashmi, the deputy director general of Tourism Promotion, Oman Ministry of Tourism.
Oman continues to draw visitors from Saudi Arabia and other neighboring territories to one of the most diverse environments in the Middle East, said Al Hashmi at the fourth edition of the JTTX which concludes today (February 6) at the Hilton Hotel Jeddah.
"The Sultanate has been highly successful in establishing itself as a prime destination for cultural tourism as well. Its capital, Muscat, was named the Second Best City to visit in the world in 2012 by Lonely Planet, the renowned travel guide publisher," he noted.
Among Oman’s local tourist attractions are beaches, old-world souqs (markets), forts, ancient settlements and tombs, and Unesco-recognized heritage sites. Visitors can also engage in trekking and rock climbing, turtle, dolphin and bird watching, and desert safaris, among other exciting activities, he added.
Among the favourite Omani vacation spots of Saudis is the southern city of Salalah which is known for its fully-booked annual Salalah Festival, happening during the monsoon season called Khareef. Its prominence as the ‘Land of Frankincense,’ and its various ancient sites has led to its inclusion in Unesco’s ‘World Heritage List.’
Last year 17,000 visitors from Saudi Arabia flocked to Oman for the 'Salalah Festival' thus affirming the Sultanate’s status as a preferred leisure and lifestyle destination for the kingdom's residents, he added.-TradeArabia News Service