A massive influx of tourists was recorded in Salalah, Oman at the start of the Khareef (south east monsoon) season this year, according to the Oman Ministry of Tourism.
The city is also currently celebrating the famed Salalah Tourism Festival, a major tourist attraction that yearly draws thousands of local, regional and international visitors. Figures from the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) show that 393,312 tourists flocked to the city from the period June 21, 2015 to August 11, 2015 compared to 272,306 visitors with the same period in 2014.
Tourist arrivals to the Sultanate are notably high especially during the Khareef, which lasts from June to early September. Many of the foreign visitors, majority of who are from Oman’s neighboring states who want to escape the scorching summer heat in their home countries, fly to the city to take part in the over-a-month-long Salalah Tourism Festival.
Kicking off simultaneously with the commemoration of the Oman Renaissance Day on July 23, 2015, the festival celebrates the monsoon season with various religious, cultural, sports and entertainment activities. It also highlights Oman’s traditional handcrafts, arts, and games. Running until August 31, 2015 under the theme ‘Oman: Love and Peace’.
Salim Edi Al Mamari, Director General of Tourism Promotion, Oman Ministry of Tourism, said: “Salalah, Oman’s second largest city and home of frankincense, continuously attracts tourists from around the globe. Its white sandy beaches, mountains, green valleys and lagoons as well as its ancient trade links make it a famous destination for holidaymakers. Aside from its rich history and natural beauty, tourist arrivals have also been continuously growing over the years, with many once-in-a-lifetime activities such as dolphin spotting and underwater expeditions are in store for them. This year’s Khareef season saw a significant increase in the number of local, regional and international visitors. The yearly Salalah Tourism Festival, along with the opening of the new Salalah airport, is also driving this growth. We aim to maintain this momentum by consistently boosting our tourism campaigns.”
Oman has become the favorite holiday destination especially for holidaymakers who aspire to experience the festival of the monsoon.