Muscat: Oman’s southern governorate is on its annual pre-monsoon misty pitch now with a lingering drizzle. The region is immensely popular among GCC residents as well as people from as far as Europe, during the annual Khareef season, from June till August. However, this year too is not panning out as the tour operators or destination management companies would have wanted. But with no lockdown and no restrictions on vehicular movement, at least as of now, the situation looks positively promising.
Salam Al Kindi, Director of Corporate Affairs, at Salam Air said with things seemingly easing up, Salalah tourism will pick up this year.
“To ensure a responsible tourism, no festivals should be allowed and parks and play areas should be closed. That will ensure lesser interactions between people. For a sustainable tourism, the government should invest in other tourism attractions apart from hotels and resorts. For example cable car between mountains will be a good business. Also, some good quality washrooms should be available everywhere.”
Responsible tourism has been the watchword as the onset of monsoon, known as Khareef season, also marks festivals, which under the current situation are not allowed.
Philippe Georgiou, ex-strategy consultant at Oman’s Ministry of Tourism, said Dhofar governorate offers a unique tourist experience. “Omanis and Gulf citizens and residents constitute the main source for Dhofar. At this stage, the Khareef season represents the bulk of visitors. However, Dhofar has a much wider offering than the Khareef season. With its attractive coast line, chain of hills and the desert further in the interior, Dhofar offers a diversified tourism product.” Philippe suggests a visit to Dhofar region any time of the year.
Ghanim a tour guide with Aryaf Jebreen Tourism in Salalah said although there are restrictions on foreign tourists, residents from other parts of Oman are planning their trips to Salalah to enjoy the weather and take a respite from the sizzling heat.