76 per cent visitors prefer road route to Salalah

Salalah, July 18 – Road is the most preferred choice of visitors to Salalah, with 76 per cent choosing the road route and 24 per cent opting for the air route. The National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) stall at Salalah Tourism Festival (STF), indicating most tourists opted for road transport over airlines. Noora al Alawi, the NCSI representative at STF, explained the useful applications and websites to visitors and said creating a data bank was vital for decision making and drafting policies.

Pointing at a live screen, Noora said: “As per July 16 trend, the number of visitors to Salalah is more than double at 156,438 (June 21 to July 16) compared with the figures during the same period last year.” At 107,851 till July 17, Omani visitors topped the list, followed by UAE (15,040) Saudi (11, 506); Qatar (1,914); Bahrain (1,296); Kuwait (1,117); other Arab countries (6,688); Europe (945); Asia (9,541) and other countries (464). Noora explained the utility of the newly launched trade website, ‘Manafeth’, which according to her, is useful for both small and big businesses for policy analysis as also for economic researchers.

“Here you learn about statistics on international trade as well as trade activities ranging from export/import to role of global market in Omani economy,” Noora al Alawi (pictured)said. NCSI’s Manafeth website was launched this month. This is the first time that the Sultanate’s national data keeper is interacting directly with the people to tell them about the importance of the website.

Some businessmen who visited the NCSI stall appreciated the usefulness of ‘Manafeth’, which according to them, helps “observe trends and movement of exported and imported goods”. “What I like most is that I can learn about the value of imports, exports re-exports in the local currency, its descriptions, country of import/export, Customs outlet as well as the country of origin,” Said Ahmed, a businessman who deals in hardware and electrical goods, said.

Kaushalendra Singh