Local and international destinations lure holiday makers

With the Eid holiday dates finally announced, people are busy making their plans which include visiting some of the unseen parts of the Sultanate, basking in the lovely sunshine which has gotten better over the last few days and checking out some of the fine cuisines available in the city.
As the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs announced that September 1 is Eid al Adha, some expats are opting to travel within the country rather than flying somewhere else.
Local destinations are in great demand according to different travel agencies.
“We are receiving a great response to our various packages for destination Oman,” shared by a representative of a leading travel agency conglomerate.
“With Salalah on top of the list, places like Wadi Shab and others that offer a perfect escapade from the city are in great demand,” he added.
The country is enjoying popularity even among other GCC countries residents as a destination for great pristine beaches, exciting outdoor adventures, abundant natural reserves, exotic cultural and historical sites and beautiful weather.
“We’ve decided this year to just stay here in Oman. There are several places we haven’t visited yet and with the spiking airline ticket prices, it seems to be the most practical decision,” Melanie, an expat living in Qurum shared.
“Muscat offers different adventures for our kids. They can go to parks and there are nearby beaches like those in Yiti and Al Khiran which are surprisingly charming and beautiful. Even Qantab beach is rich with outdoor water adventures,” she shared.
“For my husband and his friends, they are planning to go fishing, maybe spend a day or two exploring Quriyat and the neighboring towns,” she said.

Out of the country adventures
Meanwhile, local travel agencies also reported that a host of foreign countries are topping ticket sales.
They noted that despite the increase in airline tickets, some residents and expatriates just couldn’t be stopped from going abroad to experience new adventures.
Out of the many countries, Cyprus, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Bosnia and Herzegovina are five of the most sought after countries where people from Oman prefer to spend their time.
While Cyprus is luring the visitors with its virgin beaches and rugged interior, Coastal Paphos is becoming a popular destination because of its famed archaeological sites relating to the cult of Aphrodite, including ruins of palaces, tombs and mosaic-tiled villas.
Georgia on the other hand is pulling visitors to its immaculate land varied landscape which ranges from low-land marsh-forests, swamps, and temperate rainforests to eternal snows and glaciers, while the eastern part of the country even contains a small segment of semi-arid plains.
Bosnia and Herzegovina also have a unique old world charm, one that interests a lot of holiday makers.
“The Mediterranean island is readying for a significant influx of visitors from across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) during the forthcoming Eid al Adha celebrations in September”, a representative at the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) said.
“The anticipated surge in regional visitors travelling to Cyprus comes after the European Country’s Ministry of Finance recorded significant growth in arrivals from the region during the first six months of the year,” he added.
Sri Lanka is close to Oman and ticket price is significantly lower and the country offers unique cultural experience including its famous tea plantations.
Thailand has a good reputation because one’s money can go a long way since hotels and food are more affordable for a thrifty traveler.
“We’re staying in the country this year. What is important is for our family to be together and have a great time,” Melanie said. “We have world class sites here too you know,” she added.

Kabeer Yousuf

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