Many experts praised the role of the Ministry of Tourism in developing ecotourism through enhancing the attractions of caves and the mountains.
Salim Adi al Maamari, Director-General of Tourism Development in the Ministry of Tourism, discussed in his paper the reasons of choosing the Sultanate as a destination of ecotourism, pointing out that the ministry is still paving the way in this direction.
Oman is a distinguished country internationally known for its wonderful natural attractions and peace-loving people. Omanis are known for their legendary hospitality. The ancient civilization of the country and this unique characteristic of the people of Oman impress tourists. The ministry is keen to introduce Oman and to promote tourism.
Ecotourism is evolving rapidly through the potentials of the Sultanate. Tourism is promoted because of the geological formations of the country that are spread everywhere in the west, east, south and north of Oman. In each and every part of the country one can find a geological difference like Al Jabal al Akhdhar that is 3,000 metres above the level of the sea, Jabal Shams, Al Sharqiyah Sands, and Salalah. This is in addition to the fresh waters provided through the aflaj system like Falaj Daris and Falaj al Malki.
Dr Mohammed Saif al Mahrooqi, Head of the Omani Geological Association, discussed the challenges facing ecotourism. He said that many rocks and fossil discoveries can be exploited for their high scientific value. It is possible also to arrange some field trips to such places to attract visitors to these areas.
He clarified that some villages and sites need some decisive actions and rapid steps to protect and develop such areas.
“We, in Oman, need to identify the tourist sites and to provide some development plans as we need to review some legislation and to reinforce youth in this side through holding campaigns at schools, colleges and clubs”, Al Mahrooqi added.