Promotional campaigns a big boost for khareef

MUSCAT: The number of tourists during the Khareef season has reached 630,829 between June 21 to August 11 as against 472,231 during the same period last year, Marhoon bin Said bin Mubarak al Ameri, Director-General of Tourism, Dhofar Governorate, has said.
He said the ministry has planned a massive investment for the promotional campaign for the season.
The ministry has made several efforts to promote the Khareef season. It asked top Arab satellite channels, including Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, to highlight it. It put out advertisements urging people to visit Salalah through MBC channels.
Similarly, social media luminaries in the Gulf region were hosted by the ministry, including Shaikh Majid al Sabah. It presented a programme, ‘Guest of Khareef, produced by Sama Art Productions Company, which hosted prominent Gulf personalities with a huge following on social media.
Al Ameri said the work on infrastructure development in the tourism sector in the governorate was also under way. The number of resorts, hotels, hotel apartments, buildings and furnished apartments has increased.
The number of hotels in the governorate has reached 32 with 3,499 rooms. The number of hotels with five-star ranking has reached five, which is likely to add 1,851 rooms by end of this year. The occupancy rate in hotels touched 60 per cent in July.
The ministry invited famous Kuwaiti traveller Mohammed al Maimouni to Dhofar between July 3 and August 6. His social media account, ‘Jawlat Haulal Aalam’ (Travel around the World) has millions of followers. He is one of the most influential figures in the world of electronic marketing across all platforms. Saudi traveller Mishal bin Majid, another popular figure on social media, also participated in the drive.
Al Ameri said preparations were under way to launch promotional offers after the end of the festival. “The Directorate General of Tourism in Dhofar Governorate wants to launch a marketing campaign to promote post-festival season until September 21, when tourist movement weakens due to the beginning of academic year.”
There is an effort to use this period to hold conferences and meetings in Salalah. A number of hotel projects and establishments opened recently. They have appropriate halls, services and facilities required for the purpose.
Marwan bin Abdul Hakim al Ghassani, Director of Tourism Promotions in the Directorate General of Tourism in Dhofar Governorate, said: “Prior to the beginning of the Khareef season, the directorate carried out tourism awareness programmes in partnership with the Directorate General of Education in Dhofar Governorate.
These programmes included lectures in schools, awareness tours, cleaning campaigns and cultural competitions. Sanitisation campaigns were carried out under the slogan, ‘Our environment our responsibility’.
Coinciding with the Khareef season, a tourist awareness campaign was launched in cooperation with Oman LNG Development Foundation, to spread the message on exercising caution during rains, fog, besides traffic rules and regulations.
Al Ghassani said the cooperation with Oman Radio was remarkable. The ministry sponsored a popular radio programme, ‘Nasayem’ from the venue of the festival, Ittin grounds. It provided all tourism-related information.
Al Ghassani said the ministry had updated and printed the tourist map of Dhofar for this year. This was funded by Salalah Methanol Company for the third consecutive year.
He said the ministry supported the initiative ‘Khareef of Dhofar through Omani Lenses’ between July 3 and 8. It saw participation from distinguished Oman’s photographers.
He said preparations are under way to carry out activities during Eid holidays at Ittin grounds, including an exhibition for craftsmen, short theatre performances, folk dance, competitions for adults and children and Omani traditional dress shows.