Oman tourism: Dhofar receives over 31,000 visitors since the start of Khareef season
Photo courtesy - Oman Tourism
Muscat: In its first Khareef Salalah 2014 statistical report, the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) uncovered the number of visitors to Dhofar governorate since the start of the monsoon, which stood at 31,128, including Omanis and international visitors, from June 21 to July 16, 2014.
According to the report, around 12,703 visitors flew to Salalah, 10,462 via domestic flights and 2,241 via international flights, while the number of road travellers to Dhofar region stood at 18,425. These figures show an overall decrease in the number of visitors compared to the same period in 2013 where the recorded visitors figure stood at 39,767 visitors. Around 10,091 reached Dhofar via domestic flights, while 1,447 came via international flights, totalling 11,538, in addition to 28,229 visitors who arrived by car, the NCSI report said.
In preparation for the season, NCSI has introduced for the first time a self-counting platform to be used by Salalah visitors, 6 devices were installed at Salalah International Airport, and 4 devices were installed at Muscat International Airport. Travellers can easily fill the electronic forms as they pass through the airports in a very simple and convenient way.
Additionally, NCSI representatives are available on the spot 24/7 to provide any required assistance, and once the forms are filled, data will automatically be available to the concerned department at NCSI through the system. For road travellers, hard-copy forms are distributed at international border posts to be filled and submitted at Hareet Police check point in Dhofar governorate.
According to nationalities and entry points, the majority of Dhofar visitors in the stated period were Gulf Cooperation Council citizens, standing at 23,501 including 22,128 Omanis. Out of the GCC visitors, including Omanis, 8,699 visitors arrived through airports, 7,171 domestically and 1,528 internationally, while 14,802 was the number of visitors who arrived via ground posts. Around 1,392 people from different Arab countries visited Dhofar during the same period while 5,244 was the number of visitors from Asian countries, 126 from Africa, 622 from Europe, 171 from America, 52 from Australia and New Zealand, and 20 from unspecified countries.
As for Omani visitors per permanent place of residence, 8,040 visitors were from Muscat governorate, comprising 36.3% of the total number of Omanis who visited Salalah during the stated period. Al Dakhliyah and Al Batinah governorates followed with 2,985 and 2,963, representing 13.5% and 13.4% respectively. Omanis living abroad represented 1.1% of the number of Omanis visiting Salalah with the number standing at 254 visitors.