In Brief


Dhofar sees surge in visitors
THE number of visitors to Oman’s Dhofar Governorate from June 21 to August 21 increased by 42,232, taking the total number of visitors to 259,865.

The total number of visitors during the same period last year was 217,633, according to the Salalah Khareef Visitors Survey 2006, conducted by the Ministry of National Economy in co-operation with Tourism Ministry. The number of visitors from within the sultanate reached 159,770 and 97,098 visitors came from the GCC countries, the report added.

New rental drop-off facility at DIA
THE Dubai Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) has recently opened a parking and drop off facility dedicated to rent-a-car users at Dubai International Airport. The facility will offer services only to customers of the 19 rent-a-car companies that have offices inside the DIA. Located at the Departures level of DIA adjacent to car park A, the facility comprises an air-conditioned office building that houses counters of the 19 rent-a-car companies, and a 48-slot paid parking area. Two spaces have been allocated to each rental firm.

Rome to get trade-only expo
MARCH 22-24 will see one of the largest tourism fairs dedicated to the Mediterranean region play out in Rome. The trade-only Globe07 is the newest addition to the travel trade calendar and aims to present the entire Mediterranean region to international buyers. It is organised by ExpoGlobe. Over 1,000 buyers representing top wholesalers dealing with the Mediterranean will be invited and fully hosted to travel to Rome, from 40 countries. The timing of Globe is critical, coming in late March 2007, which makes it perfect for the needs of international exhibitors and Italian operators to present their high-season programmes and for buyers to contract services for the year to come. As many as 992 booths over 15,000 sqm are expected and participation is likely from Egypt, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia as well as Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Malta and Cyprus.

Khobar expo to promote Kerala
A major exhibition being held in Al Khobar on November 2 and 3 will seek to promote Kerala as an international tourist destination, attract much-needed foreign investment and promote Indo-Saudi cultural relations. Kochi-based Orion Sargam, with its offices in Alkhobar, will organize Indian Tourism Mart 2006. Saudi tourist traffic to India increased by more than 16 percent in 2004 and seven per cent in 2005. Some 10,000 visitors are expected to attend the event and organisers hope to attract an investment of 10 billion rupees ($216.5 million) in Kerala tourism.