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Gulf Arabs to boost Oman holidays with an 11% in 2009 tourism

  • 18-Sep-09 16:30
  • Oman
  • Holiday Industry

This year Oman holidays will see an approximate 11% increase in the inflow of tourists, reaching the total record figure of some 2 million visitors. It will all be thanks to Gulf Residents that stay within the UAE region looking for cheaper holidays

Gulf Arabs to boost Oman holidays with an 11% in 2009 tourism

Thanks to Gulf residents who, as savvy savers in light of the recession have chosen to holiday in more nearby grounds, Oman holidays have experienced an unprecedented boost in popularity from other UAE visitors. On Sunday, tourism officials announced an expected 11% increase in the arrival of tourists to Oman this year, which could push up the annual figure to a record-breaking total of 2 million visitors.

“The global crisis has forced Gulf nationals to travel closer to home and Oman is hugely benefiting from it,” were the words of Khalid al-Ghassan, head of development at the Tourism Ministry.

Around 1.8 million tourists took Oman holidays in 2008, of which 75% were regional residents from Oman’s five neighbour countries who make up the Gulf Cooperation Council bloc (GCC).

Already some 1.1 million tourists have taken Oman holidays for the first six months of 2009 with the number of GCC residents visiting Oman up 6% in the first half of 2009 compared to the same period last year. “The improvement of oil prices, and I guess the H1N1 flu, have also got something to do with the rise of GCC tourists.” added Suleiman al-Harthy, managing director of Horizon Tourism.

Those in the travel industry said that it is the mild weather of the south which made Salalah the major tourist attraction for Gulf nationals during summer months, with Ras Al-Hadd being more popular in the winter.

Gulf citizens and Europeans love Salalah during the summer and the place is booming … they also go to see turtle nesting at Ras Al-Hadd,” said Mustafa Al-Khairy of Bahwan Travels.

Other major tourist attractions and things to do on Oman holidays include visiting the ancient castles, beaches, handicrafts and desert camping.

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