Muscat: In its first Khareef Salalah 2014 statistical report, the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) informed that the number of visitors to Dhofar Governorate since the start of the monsoon was 31,128, including Omanis and international visitors. The figures covered those visiting between June 21 and July 16.
According to the report, 12,703 visitors flew to Salalah, 10,462 came via domestic flights and 2,241 via international flights, while the number of those who travelled by road to Dhofar region was 18,425.
These figures show an overall decrease in the number of visitors compared to the same period of 2013 when the number was 39,767 visitors.
In preparation for the season, the NCSI has introduced for the first time a self-counting platform to be used by Salalah visitors. Six devices were installed at the Salalah International Airport, and four were installed at the Muscat International Airport.
Travellers can easily fill the electronic forms as they pass through the airports as these are very convenient to fill in. Additionally, the NCSI representatives are available on the spot 24/7 to provide any required assistance.
Once the forms are filled, data is automatically available to the department concerned at NCSI through the system. For road travellers, hard-copy forms are distributed at international border posts to be filled and submitted at the Hareet Police check point in Dhofar Governorate.
According to nationality and entry point used, a majority of Dhofar visitors — 23,501 to be precise, including 22,128 Omanis — in the stated period were GCC citizens. Out of the GCC visitors, including Omanis, 8,699 arrived through airports, 7,171 from domestic and 1,528 from international destinations, while 14,802 arrived via ground posts.
A total of 1,392 visitors came from different Arab countries during the same period while 5,244 visitors came from Asian countries, 126 from Africa, 622 from Europe, 171 from America, 52 from Australia and New Zealand, and 20 from other unspecified countries.
Tourism panel meets
Meanwhile the Tourist and Service Sites Improvement Committee in Dhofar Governorate yesterday held a coordination meeting under the chair of Ahmed bin Nasser al Meherzi, Minister of Tourism. The meeting was attended by Sayyid Mohammed bin Sultan Al Busaidi, Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar.
The meeting was also attended by members of the committee and representatives of the governmental agencies that are involved in preparing Dhofar Governorate to receive Khareef season this year.
The meeting included a presentation on the projects that have been completed, those underway and the plans and programmes of the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA).
After the meeting, the Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar accompanied by the Minister of Tourism and head of the committee visited a number of projects implemented by the committee. The committee also launched Al Sa'adah Recreational Field.