More jobs for Omanis as winter tourism gains steam

Oman Tuesday 08/January/2019 19:31 PM
By: Times News Service
More jobs for Omanis as winter tourism gains steam

More job opportunities have been created for Omanis in the tourism sector with the rapid growth in winter tourism in the country. Hameed Al Hajri of Al Barr Camp said that the jobs created by the camps were in the tourism guidance, management, folk arts teams, direct or indirect marketing of handicraft products in the camp.
Raya Al Hajri, a resident of wilayat Bidiyah, said that the people of the area go to the tourist offices particularly during winter and use their personal cars to ferry tourists for a daily sum of about OMR50-70.
The Ministry of Tourism is encouraging tourist camps in Oman as they increase the volume of tourist accommodation facilities in the country.
These camps also help in marketing of local products made by Omanis. These Omanis are invited to showcase their products to tourists. She said that the camping tools were being sold more in the malls due to increase in the number of tourists who visited the area.
One of the advantages of these tourist camps is that it brings together people from inside and outside Oman in one place.
Some owners of tourism companies, camps and diverse tourist resorts said that there was a huge tourist influx in the Al Sharqiyah Sands.
They said that this was an indication of the diversity of tourism resorts in the area. It also showed the diversity of tourism programmes and their richness, which are sufficient to attract various categories of tourists.
Talal Al Shuaibi, Director of Tourism in North Al Sharqiyah governorate, said there was a positive development in the turnout, which reflected the desire of tourists to enjoy the natural beauty of the deserts.
He said that the tourist camps in Al Sharqiyah Sands proved to be a successful Omani tourist attraction, which provided hotel facilities for many categories and segments of tourists from inside and outside the Sultanate who come to relax, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
He added that there was a strong desire from many foreign tourists to explore the secrets of the sand and nature. They have bookings or opt for intensive tourism programmes of these popular destinations deep in the deserts.
He said that adventure activities were particularly very attractive for tourists and visitors who enjoy riding camels, through a package of programmes, which included passing through the golden sands with caravans which take them from one tourist camp to the other in various areas during a few days and nights. This also includes desert sports, sand skiing and four-wheel drives.
He said that the tourist camps in Al Sharqiyah Sands were known for their preservation of Omani heritage and traditions. Most of these tourist camps provide packages, which include various folk arts shows. They are also working on innovative methods to cover activities of authentic traditional Omani handicrafts, cuisines, drinks and bakeries as part of the packages. Al Shuaibi said that Al Sharqiyah Sands is one of the most beautiful places for camping in the Sultanate. It is the most famous tourist destination for those who love various tourism activities and sports in the area; it has also become easy to reach due to improved infrastructure. These areas are located close to basic facilities and have diverse tourism activities.
About the role of the camps in showcasing and highlighting Omani culture for tourists, Al Shuaibi said: “Those who arrive at the tourist camps feel the hospitality of Oman. When they reach the camps, they can choose the activities and events they want to participate in or watch. There are also exhibitions of various types of traditional Omani folk arts and handicrafts, including handmade ornaments made using old methods of craft.”
These tourist camps have also created jobs for the local people. He said that the tourist camps in Al Sharqiyah Sands contributed in providing hotel facilities to various categories of tourists, besides creating job opportunities for some citizens, as foreigners seek the help of citizens and hire them to discover the old routes and tracks in the deserts.
Wisal bint Abdullah Al Harthi, owner of the luxury Thousand and One Nights Camp, said that the camps add high value to the tourism sector in the Sultanate because of their desert hotel rooms and activities. Such facilities enable tourists to enjoy a beautiful day with adventurous activities in the deserts. She said that the camp had originality and modernity blended together in the local environment. Here, infrastructure is modernised, comforts added, areas of entertainment multiplied, thus making it more comfortable and attractive for tourists.
She also added that the winter season saw a huge influx of tourists into these camps.
Ali bin Zaher Al Hajri, owner of Al Raha Camp, said: “The tourist camps flourish during the winter. The activities organised by the Al Raha Camp include sunset watching, camel rides, sand motor bikes, walking in the sands, musical concerts and folk songs played in the desert atmosphere.” Hamdan Al Hajri, owner of Al Maha Camp, said that the occupancy ratio in the camp in the winter season was good and increased further during the holidays because of the rise in the number of visitors wanting to spend their weekends with their families and friends, as well as due to the arrival of tourist groups during this period.
Said Al Harthi of Desert Nights Camp said that the tourist camps added value to the tourism sector.