Travel operators say that the three countries nestled in the Caucasus Mountains have become the destinations of choice because of budgetary reasons.
Muneer al Balushi, sales and marketing manager, Arabica Orient Tours, a company dealing in travels to Eastern European countries, said Georgia was one of the preferred destinations because of its stunning beauty.
“However, this year the demand has gone down drastically due to the news about people being sent back from the Tbilisi airport.”travellers, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, airport, professional, documents, family, destinations
He said that travellers want to have hassle-free holidays and Azerbaijan and Armenia are in demand now. “We sold many packages for Georgia and none were denied entry. We have organised trips for Omanis, Indians and Pakistanis in the past and all were smooth affairs,” he said.
In addition to being within budget, these countries are preferred because Omanis and expats get a visa-on-arrival in Georgia and Armenia. For Azerbaijan, Omanis get a visa-on-arrival and expats can apply online. “Flying time to these three countries is very less and perfect for those looking for short holidays.”
Rupal Kunkawlekar, holidays consultant, Easy Travel and Tours, said, “Instead of Georgia, people from Gulf countries including Oman, are looking at Azerbaijan and Armenia. More travellers are looking forward to visiting these two countries.”
An official from Zahara Tours however differed. “The demand for Georgia is still there. I think it is just a matter of having your tour organised by professional companies who know all the documents required.”
Recently, a family of seven on vacation to Georgia was denied entry and sent back to Oman while six others were also deported after arriving at Tbilisi International Airport in April without giving any reasons. In both cases, they were denied entry in spite of travelling with proper documents.