It is ‘business as usual’ at Muscat’s hotels and resorts, as well as those in Nizwa, Musandam to the north and Dhofar to the south. Muscat’s international airport and major attractions are also unaffected by the cyclone. While Oman’s east coast is recovering from the destruction caused by tropical cyclone Phet and the Ministry of Tourism is working to ensure that business activity along Oman’s east coast is restored as quickly as possible.
Although tropical cyclone Phet has left a trail of destruction along Oman’s east coast (Ash Sharqiyyah) including Masirah Island, major tourism areas including Muscat, Khasab and Salalah and other regions are unaffected.
Alison Cryer, Director of the Oman Ministry of Tourism UK Market Representative Office said “we are deeply saddened by the fatalities and destruction caused by cyclone Phet in eastern Oman, and our thoughts are with the distressed families. The Ministry has reassured local communities that it will work to restore tourism activity as soon as possible in the affected areas”.
Oman’s capital, Muscat, experienced localised flooding only while the regions of Musandam to the north (capital Khasab) and Dhofar (capital Salalah) to the south were not affected. Khasab Fort recently received the prized International Award at the 2010 Museums & Heritage Awards for Excellence, London.
Cryer added “we want to send a clear message to anyone planning an Oman holiday; the blue skies are back and it is ‘business as usual’. Access to the east coast will be limited for sometime, but there is no reason why people should not holiday in Oman and enjoy the main tourism areas”.
In recent months, the Ministry of Tourism, Oman Air and Oman’s hotels and resorts launched major campaigns in the United Kingdom and Europe (Now is the Time!) and the Gulf Region (Beauty Has an address ~ Oman) offering affordable week and short-break holiday packages valid until 01 October 2010. To date the campaign has generated over 7330 visitor nights and over 1 million Omani Rials of additional visitor expenditure (£1.78m).
In the UK the campaign includes Oman’s first cinema advertising campaign. The new advertisement is being previewed this week at the Oman Roadshow in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Chester before release at the end of the month. The roadshow will be attended by over 300 travel agents, tour operators and media who will meet a delegation of 12 Omani private sector companies who have joined representatives from the Ministry.