More than 40,000 tourists from Germany, Italy, Slovakia and Czechoslovakia are expected in Salalah during the charter season that is beginning from today, Tuesday.
This season’s current outlook suggests that there would be 33,520 tourists coming to Salalah in charters, while the rest are coming as individual tourists in various airlines operating to and from Salalah. According to Mostafa Hussein, General Manager of Meeting Point Oman, there would be six weekly flights from Germany, Italy, Slovakia and Czech Republic.
The charters would operate for about six months giving a good reason for the hoteliers and other hospitality operators good reason to smile and remain busy all through the season.
The booking trend suggests that there would be regular tourist flow in all the star hotels in Salalah from October 17 till May 18, as the first charter of the season is scheduled on October 17 with 180 mixed tourists from Slovakia and Czech Republic.
“Confirmations are there for 56 charters from Germany. There would be 24 charters from Italy and 44 from Slovakia and Czech Republic, in which there are 12 each from Slovakia and Czech Republic and 20 mixed from both the countries,” said Hussein.
The tour operators are happy over addition of new facilities like new bridges, widened roads and some new hotels rooms coming up in Salalah.
“With widened roads, new bridges and several new link roads, the city this year has better infrastructure than previous years. We are also noticing development on getting more hotel rooms added in Salalah. This makes us think for the next season when we can bring more tourists to Salalah,” said a tour operator.
Star hotels have upgraded their facilities to receive the guests. They have lined up food festivals according to the taste of the tourists and to give them unique experience of enjoying Salalah amid beautiful winter and greenery everywhere. The news of introduction of Mwasalat city bus services in Salalah from next year is also exciting the tour operators, who termed it a good move to boost tourism.
“Since Salalah is getting attention from international tourists and every passing year some new charters are added to the destination, it is pertinent to improve public transport system in the city. The visitors would have more options to explore, indulge in the city and be satisfied that they managed to see whatever they wanted to, do shopping and take true memories of the city and the country,” said Ahmed Aufari, Branch Manager of Zahra Tours in Salalah.
Commenting on the yellow taxis being operated in the city, he said, those taxis were not enough to meet the requirements of a city which is gaining international attention. “They are not available all the time, they do not have fixed timings and there are tourists who love to explore the destination on their own,” he said.
Samer Khair, General Manager of Salalah Marriott Resort, called it a good move from tourism and hospitality points of view. “Good public transport is one of the parameters to judge a city. This gives visitors liberty to move around…Good for us hoteliers to tell our guests that the city has one of the best public transport systems.”
Vishvanath Ranasinghe, General Manager of Al Fawaz Tours, welcomed the move by saying that transport system is a super structure of any important destination. “It not only caters to the needs of the residents and visitors, it gives a boost to the city in terms of expansion and development.”
Hussein of Meeting Point admitted that with every passing season Salalah’s appeal is attracting tourists and hopes to receive far more tourists this season than last season.