MUSCAT — The Tourism Ministry yesterday launched a smartphone application, I-Tour Guide, which can guide adventure seekers to 30 geotourism sites in the Governorate of Muscat. The projected was inaugurated at a ceremony at Sheraton Qurum Beach Resort yesterday by Maithaa bint Saif al Mahrouqiyah, Under-Secretary of the Tourism Ministry, as part of programmes marking the designation of Muscat as Capital of Arab Tourism 2012.
The sites on the project include Al Khoudh, Bandar Al Khairan, Wadi Al Meeh and Baushar. The programme includes maps for Muscat and geological sites and their paths to facilitate access to the destinations for the programme users, while at the same time providing them with rich information on the sites.
Maitha said in a statement that the project highlights the environmental identity enjoyed by the Sultanate and provides natural and geologic nature. She affirmed that the Ministry seeks to activate this project during this period to highlight the environmental aspect and focus on the sustainable environment.
Al Mahrouqiyah pointed out that the project has been implemented in collaboration with specialised companies in geology and environment and the Sultan Qaboos University, saying that the project is more of a scientific venture rather than a tourism project.
The project provides valuable tourism, environmental and geological information on the Sultanate.
She said that the project is a digital programme that can be transmitted via smart phones in four languages. As many as 30 major geological sites in Muscat have been selected. The programme is available in Arabic, English, German and French languages. She also pointed out that there are maps in Arabic and English for the selected sites and sign boards of geological information and illustrations.
She said that the project will be developed soon to include other governorates as the geological sites spread all over the Sultanate’s governorates.
Al Mahrouqiyah said that Muscat Geoheritage project captures Unesco award for its commitment to achieve sustainable development, education and cultural rapprochement within the efforts made by the Tourism Ministry to develop the tourism sector in the Sultanate and benefit from the successful global experience in sustainable development.
Said bin Khalfan al Mesharfi, Director of Tourism Product Development at the Tourism Ministry, said that the Sultanate, represented by the Tourism Ministry, in collaboration with other respective public and private departments, has adopted the sustainable development concept in its developmental strategy. — ONA