SALALAH, Nov 12 – Major international tour operators have lined up services in Salalah by bringing tourists from European countries and arranging charters to and from Salalah in the charter season that gained momentum from the first week of November.
Among the big names are FTI, Alpitour, Hydrotour, Fischer and Itaka. The FTI is bringing tourists from Germany, while Alpitour and Itaka are bringing tourists from Italy and Poland respectively. Hydrotour and Fischer are bringing tourists mainly from Slovakia and Czech Republic.
The tourism calendar suggests that this year’s charter season started one month late and the real volume of them started pouring in Salalah from November 1. Last year’s season had started exactly one month before with the arrival of the first charter flight from Germany.
The calendar suggests that the FTI is bringing German tourists from November 1 to April 19, 2018; Alpitour bringing Italians from October 27 to May 3, 2018; Hydrotour and Fischer bringing tourists from Slovakia and Czech Republic from October 14 to May 11, 2018; and Itaka bringing Polish tourists from November 1 to March 29, 2018.
All in all, the volume of charter tourists would reach more than 40,000 with at least 12 charter flights landing and taking off weekly from Salalah Airport. The hoteliers have cheered the movement of tourists and smile is back again on their faces which was apparently missing during three months of extraordinarily dull season from August to October.
“Movement of tourists was there in mid October but it was not enough to cater to the needs of all the hotels in Salalah, Taqah and Mirbat,” said a duty manager of a five-star hotel.
Salalah Rotana Resort has renewed its partnership deal with Itaka and Hydrotour, major Polish and Slovakian tour operators. As tourism in Oman continues to enjoy steady growth, the industry has also witnessed a diversification of its source markets. The renewed partnership with Itaka will see 180 guests arrive weekly to the resort, while Hydrotour will bring guests from Bratislava to Salalah weekly for the next six months.
Commenting on renewed partnership with Itaka, Hossam Kamal, General Manager of Salalah Rotana Resort, said: “The partnership signifies the success of our journey so far with Itaka, which makes me very proud of what we have achieved so far and what is to come in the near future. We pride ourselves in the level of service provided by our colleagues and achieving high guest satisfaction, which is an important factor in our daily operations. Tourism has taken major strides in the number of source markets developed over the years.”
Piotr Wrzesniewski, Charter Produce Director, Itaka, called Salalah connection very rewarding and interesting. “Our journey to Salalah began two years ago and has been a very rewarding one. Hence, our decision to continue is a win-win deal. The resort has been a great holiday destination to our guests, with exceptional service. Oman has gained popularity in the Polish market and it is our pleasure to facilitate the movement of our Polish guests to Oman’’.
The past two years, according to Mikula Milko, General Manager of Hydrotour, were extremely good for the company.