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Number of visitors to Salalah in khareef rises despite Ramadan  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 06/10/2012

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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) A total of 351,195 people visited Salalah during the khareef season, which starts on June 21 and continues till September 21 every year.The National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), which carries out an annual statistical survey in cooperation with the Minister of Transport and Communications and ROP, said that tourist numbers in the Dhofar region witnessed an increase of 3.4 per cent when compared with the 2011 figure of 339,500.With Ramadan falling during the khareef season, the number of visitors to the governorate was expected to drop this year. However, there was an unprecedented influx of tourists post-Ramadan, particularly during the Eid holidays. ''There was a massive drop of 52.4 per cent in visitor numbers during Ramadan, from June 21 to August 11. But immediately after that, 178,124 people thronged the green mountains of Salalah from August 19 to September 1. August 20 recorded 33,522 visitors, the highest for a day during the season,'' said an NCSI official.Amina Abdullah al Balushi, director of statistic and geographical information, Ministry of Tourism, said the increase was expected. ''Although the Rama-dan factor would affect numbers, I believed there would be an increase, as school vacations coincided with the Khareef season.''The survey pointed out that the number of Omani visitors, which was 211,042, constituted 60 per cent of the total number of visitors. The number of Omani visitors showed a decline of eight per cent from the 2011 figure of 228,300.However, the number of visitors from GCC went up to 92,631 from 76,800 in 2011, corresponding to a 20.6 per cent increase. A 98 per cent increase, the largest, was recorded in the number of visitors from Bahrain, with the number of tourists from the country rising to 2,865 from 1,449. Kuwait was next with a jump of 56 per cent in the number of visitors, followed by Qatar (20 per cent), UAE (22 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (two per cent).Tourists from Asia came in third with 38,898 visitors, followed by Arabs (5,165), Europeans (2,285), Americans (771), Africans (206) and Oceanians (196).


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