American Expert Suggests Oman As A Safe Beautiful Destination
Date: 1 November 2008
Usama Bin Karim Al Haremi, Head of Corporate Communications and Media of Oman Air informed that Costas Christ, one of the world’s most internationally acclaimed and respected sustainable tourism experts, has recently avowed Oman being beautiful, safe and stable, also an amazing destination for American travelers. Moreover, Christ through the web pages of the National Geographic ADVENTURE magazine, the renowned American lifestyle magazine of the National Geographic Society, urged Americans and all travelers to visit the friendly country that welcomes visitors.
Al Haremi enlightened that Christ serves as the Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, which recognizes leading examples from around the world of environmentally and socially responsible travel, also a founding member and former Chairman of the Board of The International Ecotourism Society. In addition to his role as President of the Adventure Council, Costas Christ serves as Chairman of the Adventures in Travel Expo Conferences and writes a monthly travel column for National Geographic Adventure magazine.
Under the title “Oman's Road Less Traveled” Christ said that American travelers’ current reluctance to visit the Middle East, egged on by media hype about danger and Islamic fear mongering, has left Oman almost entirely to the young Europeans now flocking there. Our loss is their big gain. I just spent seven days kayaking along the Straights of Hormuz, some 20 miles from the Iran border, and trekking on the Ru’us Al Jebel mountain plateau on Oman’s Musandam Peninsula. My verdict? Pack your bags and go if you can. The intense heat and bone-dry terrain do add up to one of the most inhospitable places I have come across (the best months for travel are October to April), but it is also one of the most stunningly beautiful places I have been—and has the potential to stay this way.
While Dubai chases mass tourism he said, Oman is far-sighted and enlightened Sultan embraces a different tourism model—one that affirms traditional culture and nature. The result is a welcoming country more focused on ecotourism than high-rise resorts. On my trip, I met Paul Oliver, a former British backpacker and mountain climber, at his stone house in Dibba, a small fishing enclave on Oman’s north coast. He had the good fortune to run out of money here more than a decade ago during an overland journey to India. He stayed and founded Absolute Adventure and a green-travel charity called Gulf for Good. Together, with his ace desert guide Ram Sundar, they offer “leave no trace” journeys into Oman’s backcountry, where it is still possible to find old Arabia and experience the genuine hospitality of desert villagers.
Having just returned from Oman, I have found myself answering a lot of questions from curious people back in U.S. The big one: How dangerous was it? My answer is simple—I am already planning my next trip there, this time to the remote southern coast and the Wahiba sands of the Empty Quarter.
About the expert and Global Travel Editor of the National Geographic ADVENTURE magazine’s blog, Al Haremi highlighted that in addition to his monthly travel column in National Geographic Adventure magazine that rate base now reaches 2.4 million readers, and more than any other magazine in its genre, Costas' articles and essays on travel and tourism have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Boston Globe and Sunday Times of London. He is the lead author of Tourism and Biodiversity: Mapping Tourism’s Global Footprint and a contributing author in Wilderness: Earth's Last Wild Places. Costas has appeared many times on television and radio, including CNN, BBC, National Public Radio, ABC News, and PBS to talk about adventure travel.