edited: Tuesday, December 24, 2002
By Madhu Nambiar
Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Become a Fan
A tour and interview report
September 21st and September 25th are the two days, which we dedicated for world peace and international tourism.
Peace and tourism are linked each other. If one has a peaceful mind, then only he can tour and enjoy as a tourist. Tourism needs peace. A peaceful area is ideal for tourism. To study its past, present, the people and its tradition and culture.
Modern concept of global village, to which we are world widely webbed, more people to people contact rather than mere chat is inevitable. All concerned the world over has realized this. Thus, tourism has emerged as a key social and economic sector for various reasons and various purposes.
Everything has a negative aspect. If we are able to foresee that negative aspect and take measures to minimize it, the objective of promoting the principal objective can be fetched fruits.
I had visited Ras Al Had, a town in the Eastern Region of the Sultanate of Oman, which has recently emerged as one of the key tourist spots. In the world tourism map it has gained a prominent place, as it is the breeding ground of green turtles.
Keeping in view of large-scale tourism potential of Ras Al Had, the Directorate General of Tourism of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry had conducted a 10-day tourism festival in Ras Al Had from the second day of Eid Al Adha in 1421 (March 2001).
The festival was a grand success. It helped the local community and domestic as well as foreign tourists to know more about Ras Al Had, its tradition, hospitality and tourism potential.
Realizing that tourism is going to stay as a trade, private tourism promoters have started giving tourism a boost by making it eco-friendly.
Private tour operators turning to eco tourism
When Turtle Beach Resorts, the only resorts beside the Ras Al Had beach, celebrated its first anniversary on 6th March 2002, with a slogan “eco-friendly tourism”.
Turtle Beach Resorts takes extra care in the protection and maintenance of environment. The Beach, its surroundings and shallow waters are protected in conventional method, without the use of hazardous chemicals. Reef cleaning and removal of wastes left out by fishermen are the routine duty of staff at Turtle Beach Resorts so as to the environment clean always.
Foreign tourists and foreigners employed at Oman LNG, the second largest LNG terminal situated near Sur, an important town near Ras Al Had, consider the beautiful waters around the Ras Al Had beach a pleasant diving spot.
“In a very short span of one year, the Turtle Beach Resorts has incorporated many policy matters for promoting employment as well as business opportunities for locals. Many of its policy matters are under review in different stages.
The Turtle Beach Resorts has already started hiring boats from local fishermen for fishing, dolphin watching, snorkeling and diving with local tour guides”, said Mr. Jamal Al Alawi, the Managing Director, the mastermind behind the artistically, traditionally and modernally built Turtle Beach Resorts, in an informal chat.
How Tourism Saves Environment?
Tourism saves environment? Is the cliché shifting? Some of us may be sceptical to this version, as many environmentalists attribute tourism as a curse of environment.
But, to their surprise, eco-friendly tourism has come into existence! The ‘green gold’ can only survive when it becomes eco-friendly, realised tourism promoters.
“If tourism has to remain as a trade like any other trade and contribute to the national economy of any country, it has to go along with the changing scenario. Infrastructure development alone can not boost tourism. It is in this context, Turtle Beach Resorts made ‘eco-friendly’ as its slogan,” commended Mr. Al Alawi.
“To save the environment and to preserve its natural beauty, we use conventional method of cleaning, without the use of hazardous chemicals. For environmental protection conventional method is more ideal”, stressed Mr. Al Alawi who travelled extensively to different parts of the world.
“Ras Al Had is an unpolluted and undisturbed area. It is one of the reasons, the Green Turtles, find Ras Al Had region as a safe heaven than Florida in the USA”, smiled Mr. Al Alawi, an environmentalist.
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