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Winter tourism starts in Dhofar with arrival of first European charter

17 Oct 2021 By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Dhofar has declared the advent of winter tourism with the first international charter flight touching down on its tarmac on Saturday evening.

After a gap of almost two years, international charter flights are now returning to Salalah marking the tourism season beginning in October and running until the end of April.

While the first charter flight of the season carrying 173 passengers arrived in Salalah from Slovakia late Saturday evening, another one from the Czech Republic with 185 passengers is landing on Sunday evening, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MHT) said.

‘Within the framework of the ministry’s efforts and implementation of the recovery plan for 2021-22, which include stimulating and enabling international tourism by attracting charter flights, the winter tourist season in Governorate of Dhofar has started with the arrival of the first charter to Salalah Airport,’ MHT stated.

The ministry, led by H E Salim Mohammed al Mahrouqi, Minister of Heritage and Tourism, in August launched a recovery plan for the tourism sector in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic in Dhofar.

The plan includes the implementation of safety procedures, health protocols and directives issued by the departments concerned to overcome the crisis and bring the tourism sector back to its previous levels as soon as possible.

“Plans have been approved and agreements will be concluded shortly with travel and tourism operators to ensure opening of direct and regular airline routes between Dhofar and other parts of the world,” H E Mahrouqi had said then.

According to ministry statistics, altogether 196 charter flights operated during the 2018-19 season compared to 186 in 2017-18.

Charter fights from countries such as Germany, Russia, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia and France brought 51,950 tourists during the 2018-19 season as compared to 44,420 in the 2017-18 season.

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