OMAN: Sustainability with No Compromise

Further enhancing on the surroundings, Ray Stopforth, director, Muscat Hills Golf and Country Club, signified that it is important that nature prevails first and foremost, as the design of the golf course allows this to happen, just by the pure nature of its layout within the Wadis Terrain.

Engulfed by the natural views of greenery, Hadja mountain backdrop and distant views of the natural beauty, there are activities for all to enjoy.

Commenting on Oman's activity offering, Stopforth said," […], Oman as a country has so much to offer in outdoor living, if it is a daily excursion to the Wadis or daily boat trips around this beautiful coastline.

So much nature for all types of tourists to enjoy."

The destination has a variety of activities that travellers can indulge in, and as Dagmar Weber, tour manager, Musandam Sea Adventure Travel & Tourism stated, "We are offering [dhow] cruises on traditional Omani dhows into the Fjords and safaris to the Jebel Harim mountain." Weber boasted that clients, who book with them, will see only pure nature.

Being a specialised incoming agency dedicated to the region of Musandam, emphasis is given on this destination offering, living in such a traditional part of the country which is a privilege to be showing this to their clients.

Adding to the variety of events and excursions the destination has on offer, Arat proudly said, "We have [here] one of he rarest sites where you can swim with wild dolphins. […].

There are 20 species dolphins in Dhafar region and also the sail fish and Marlin fish which are the two fastest fish species in the world."

GREEN IS KEY

"Eco-tourism and Oman are synonymous, they are two-sides of the same coin," said, Mary Ann, corporate director, sales, Al Nahda Hotels & Resorts.

Ann added that their hotels and spas have evolved around, as well as support the eco-system.

"Our spas are famed for their non-chemical, all natural, garden-fresh herbal treatments, fresh mountain honey and prescription aroma oil blends, extracted in our company factories," added Ann.

Confirming the importance of nature bound tourism, Nuno Neves, cluster general manager, Park Inn by Radisson Muscat and Park Inn Radisson Hotel & Residence Duqm, shedded light on some of their priorities, which include, ensuring best guest experience, safely and security.

"In addition, we are offering local and fresh ingredients in our food, our employees are HACCP certified staff, [we have] Green Key certified hotels, and Park inn by Radisson's Smart Meetings & Events concept […]," added Neves.

Collaboratively, some properties are actively participating in sustaining the natural haven with the world-wide recognised program called Green Growth 2050, as indicated by Hewitson, "All our resorts receive this certification, within the first 12 months of operation and are awarded with the certificate by the Green Growth auditors, subject to meeting the strict criteria which covers [specific] areas."

WONDERS OF NATURE ALL IN ONE

Encompassed by the best of what nature has to offer, Oman boasts an array of natural habitats to suit even the most adventurous of visitors.

From mountainous back drops, craggy peaks and rugged terrain which offer diverse cycling routes, extensive hiking paths and scenic offerings that will keep the onlooker wanting more.

With a look behind, crystal clear beaches and subtly soft sand lingers below your feet.

Elaborating, Arat, stated, "All excursions are within the natural environment. Not many destinations offer sea, desert, mountains all situated an hour away from each other.

This location attracts visitors as it is [one of the unique niche markets] which boasts untouched nature in the Middle East and world in general."

Responsible tourism and the lust for preservation is key to development, indicated, Poorjary, further adding that, "One of the major eco-attractions in Oman is natural conservation.

The Sultanate, occupied the 19th rank of the world with 16,1 percent of its land [marked] as a natural conservations."

So long as nature lingers as a high end offering through the Omani hospitality, the attraction of travellers will remain strong to the destination, as noted by Arat, "New markets are trying to enter Salalah and Dhofar region, in 2015, it was mostly about German and Italian markets [as a majority], with also the Slovak and Polish market.

Since then, the Polish market has increase and the Czech market also has charters coming in."

Also commenting on occupancies, Hewitson, said, "We have recently opened our new resort and we are seeing higher than expected occupancies and rate due to the market in Salalah […]."

Hewitson further added that the markets feeding the destinations growth are the GCC and European countries, such as Germany, Italy, France, UK, Slovakia and Poland, with Russian business soon to start.

To conclude, Ann emphasised, "Our company supports and encourages eco-tourism.

We are always in research and development, preparing and offering newer and more exciting modes of mental and physical wellness, and exciting tours that compliment the entire experience, when more is not enough!"