Tourism festival is set to become a prime mover in promoting the Sultanate of Oman as a family, leisure, business and sports and adventure destination.
In this regard, Oman Ministry of Heritage and Tourism has lined up a number of festivals at different governorates presenting the country’s rich traditional charms to both foreign and local tourists.
Given the unique cultural heritage, abundance of natural beauty formed by spectacular mountains, wind-blown deserts, and a pristine coastline, tourism initiatives focusing on festivals and other cultural activities have got immense growth potential for sustained tourism development in the country.
From the breathtaking Khareef festival of Salalah to the current first of its kind mountain festival of Al Jabal Al Akhdhar, the ministry is on an ambitious plan of tourism development in all the governorates.
According to Haitham bin Mohammed al Ghassani, Director-General of Tourism Promotion, Al Jabal Al Akhdhar Tourism Festival is a link in a series of activities being implemented by the ministry this year.
“The series aims at enriching tourist destinations and highlighting domestic content, including key landmarks of tourism attraction in the Sultanate of Oman,” said Al Ghassani.
Significantly, the Khareef Salalah activities are expected to double the number of tourists visiting the Dhofar Governorate, and sustain the tourism movement throughout the year, not just the autumn months.
The tourism ministry is also making Oman a unique destination for weddings, conferences and exhibitions.
According to the Director-General of Tourism Promotion, the ministry targets global markets to help augment the flow of tourists into the Sultanate of Oman.
“The drive, which includes intensive programmes highlighting the country’s landmarks and addressing specific segments of tourists, seeks to maximise economic returns of the tourism sector in cooperation with local partners like airlines, travel and tourism bureaus and companies operating in the field,” he said.
“We are continuously working to highlight Oman's position as an ideal destination for leisure activities as well as for important events and world championships,” the Director-General said.
Oman’s natural beauty has been attracting an increasing number of tourists from the region and from around the world and we are confident that our tourist-friendly initiatives will go a long way in bolstering its growing global repute as a holiday destination of choice, he added.
During a recent meeting announcing campaigns in India to promote Oman as an attractive destination for wedding tourism, Asma bint Salim al Hajriyah, Deputy Director General for Tourism Promotion said, “India is one of the most important source markets for the Sultanate of Oman as per our marketing and promotional strategy”.
At the same time, Oman has already started making arrangements to receive visitors arriving for Qatar Fifa World Cup. Fans staying in Oman will be able to enjoy a variety of adventurous tourism experiences, whether it is kite surfing, cycling, hiking in the mountains, going down to see caves and scuba diving to see the colourful coral reefs of the Daymaniyat Islands, or camping under the stars on the sands of Al Sharqiya desert.