More winter tourists flock to Dhofar

The five- and four-star hotels of Dhofar Governorate had huge occupancy rate during winter season between October 2017 and the end of April 2018. This shows success of winter tourism in the governorate, for which the Ministry of Tourism has made massive efforts and promoted its components aggressively.
The statistics of the hotels indicated that the occupancy rate of the Rotana Resort was 93 per cent, and that of the Salalah Beach Resort was also 93 per cent.
Crowne Plaza Salalah had 80 per cent occupancy rate, Marriott had 71 per cent and Al Baleed Resort Salalah 57 per cent. In the four-star category, the occupancy level reached 91 per cent in the Juweira Boutique Hotel during the same period, Hilton Salalah Resort 54 per cent and Salalah Gardens 66 per cent.
Marhoon bin Saeed al Ameri, Director-General of Tourism in Dhofar Governorate, said that the ministry was always keen to make winter tourism season a huge success.
It has been working on it for a long time and was making huge efforts to promote winter season in international exhibitions by participating in many international events in various countries particularly in Europe.
He added that the occupancy of five- and four-star hotels was very high.
Some of the hotels exceeded the occupancy level of 93 per cent, and this is a positive indicator of the success of winter season in the Dhofar Governorate. He said that these ratios of occupancy and the statistics which came from the hotels to the ministry showed that the winter season was a huge success. It also showed that the largest proportion of tourists visiting Dhofar during winter were European.
The director-general pointed out that a large number of tourists who came to the governorate came by cruise ships which docked at the Salalah Port.
He said that the Ministry of Tourism was making efforts with its partners in promoting Dhofar Governorate’s winter season tourism at many international events. It participated in foreign tourist events, did advertising, broadcasting and publishing in foreign media to create awareness about the importance and growth it had seen in the governorate.
He said that the winter season of Dhofar Governorate was unique because it had large number of tourist groups coming from Europe. The number of tourists who arrived between October 2017 and May 2018 was 44,420.
These tourist groups have massive positive effect on winter tourism in the governorate. It enriched hotel establishments and other economic activities in the area.
Al Ameri said that there were many destinations visited by the tourists during winter in the governorate. These destinations included archaeological sites Al Baleed, the Land of Frankincense Museum, Samharam and traditional markets. In addition to this, tourists also visited some natural sites like places where frankincense trees are planted.
Al Ameri pointed out that the hotels also have activities and varied entertainment programmes which are enjoyed by the tourists during their stay in these facilities.
He said that the number of tourists who came by cruise ships reached 25,524, from September till the end of April 2018. Another factor of growth in the winter tourism was that tourists reached Salalah Port and toured throughout the governorate and its markets.
Amer al Habsi, Director of Sales at Al Baleed Resort Salalah, said that the winter tourism in the Governorate of Dhofar was an opportunity for the prosperity of the tourism sector.
It is one of the best opportunities for the development of domestic investment. It offers more tourism services to attract visitors, as winter is the best season for the influx of tourists from outside the Sultanate. It shows an increase in the activities of the hotel sector and related services. The occupancy rate in all hotels is high, ranging between 80 per cent to 100 per cent, depending on the categories of hotels and their prices. It is clear that the Governorate of Dhofar is naturally rich due to its mountains and fountains which attract tourists.
The pleasant climate of the Dhofar Governorate during this season, makes it a special place for most Europeans who are interested in nature and want to enjoy the warm atmosphere.
Mohammed al Mashani, Director of Government Relations at Salalah Beach Company, said: “Winter tourism of the governorate is very popular. Its services can be further improved. The majority of tourists who come to the governorate from abroad are from Italy, Germany and Poland who push the occupancy rate to 93 per cent.”
There are also large numbers of tourists from Switzerland, France and Slovakia. He said that the beach, mountain and desert tours and evening parties and shopping events in popular markets are organised regularly.
He said that the winter tourism attractions in Dhofar Governorate have a geographical diversity.