The Ministry of Tourism, Sultanate of Oman brought a small group of travel professionals to Muscat over the weekend to show them just how little the tourism infrastructure was affected by Cyclone Gonu. With the exception of the Chedi Resort, which suffered water damage and will remain closed for the next two months, all other hotels and resorts were open through the storm and are again fully operational.
Salim Al Mamari, Director General Promotions at the Ministry of Tourism said “We had heard some negative comments about the current status of Oman’s tourism infrastructure, particularly from people contacting our overseas offices, and we wanted to invite a few travel professionals to come to Muscat and see for themselves that everything is operating as normal” He continued by saying, “As well as our hotels and resorts, all sightseeing tours are available, the souqs are open, as are the museums and beautiful beaches. There is so much for visitors to see and do, this is a great time to come and explore Oman”
During their short visit to Muscat, the travel agents visited all the popular hotels and resorts and were shown around each property, its beach and gardens. Michelle Fernandes, Contracting Manager for Destinations of the World said “I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I arrived in Muscat, however I could quickly see that the cyclone hadn’t really had any effect on the city’s hotels and resorts. Having toured the city for myself I now feel confident promoting Muscat to our travel agency network. They in turn should be telling their customers that the tourism infrastructure in Oman is back to normal”
Besides Muscat, the country’s tourism infrastructure across Oman was not affected by the recent storm. Salalah, more than 1,000 kms south of Muscat is enjoying a beautiful sub-tropical climate and much cooler temperatures than the rest of the Gulf region. The city is getting ready for the Khareef Season which officially begins in the middle of July. More than 300,000 people will descend on the city to enjoy the beautiful countryside, where the mountains and surrounding hills and plains are transformed by the summer monsoons into a lush green canvas. In fact, the summer rains have come early this year and the countryside is already turning green. With great value pre-season hotel rates up until the 14th July, now is an ideal time for a short break to Salalah.
Oman is making an extra special effort this summer to welcome visitors from around the Gulf region. Whether Arab nationals or resident expatriates, activities have been planned to ensure that everyone has a good time and experience the best of what Oman has to offer from June to September. Keeping cool this summer is not difficult also. Many of the finest hotels in the region can be found here and the capital city of Muscat has a great choice. All hotels and resorts are air-conditioned and most have temperature controlled swimming pools. This, complimented by lush tropical gardens, lots of shaded areas and activities for children, means it is still possible to have a great time outdoors.
Pamela Murdoch, Manager, Manama Travel, Bahrain said “This is not my first time to Muscat and I am pleased to have been able to come back now and be reminded just how beautiful the city is. I am amazed how quickly the city is recovering from the cyclone and I feel confident recommending Muscat to my clients. In fact, having stayed at Shangri-la’s amazing Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa and having seen other great properties like the Grand Hyatt, InterContinental and Al Nahda Resort & Spa, I can see plenty of opportunity to promote Muscat over the coming months.”
Exploring Oman is easy. Travellers can visit ancient forts and castles, learn about the country’s history in air-conditioned museums, trek more than 3,000 metres above sea level at Jebel Shams and cool off in the picturesque, fresh water rock pools. With more than 1,700kms of coastline, visitors are sure to enjoy the wide variety of activities off shore, such as deep sea fishing, scuba diving, snorkelling and dolphin watching. With all the great summer offers available to visitors, now is an ideal time to visit Oman. Besides low summer rates, many hotels and resorts are offering value-added benefits such as early check-in, late check-out, free breakfasts, room upgrades and a variety of sightseeing & diving packages. Come explore Oman, its business as usual.
Monday, June 25- 2007 @ 15:05 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.