Record-breaking tourists’ arrivals to Oman predicted in 2024

Oman Monday 25/March/2024 19:37 PM
By: Times News Service
Record-breaking tourists’ arrivals to Oman predicted in 2024

MUSCAT: Tourism in Oman is on the rise and the latest report offers optimism for Oman’s rebounding sector.

The report by BMI, a Fitch Solutions company, predicts a significant surge in tourist arrivals for 2024, with numbers expected to surpass 5 million for the first time.

This positive outlook underscores Oman's growing appeal as a travel destination.

The projection, according to the report, has taken the data from the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), which had marked 4.3 million arrivals in 2023.

In the latest BMI report, it said: “We anticipate Oman's arrivals to grow by 24.7% y-o-y in 2024, totaling 5.3 million, marking a new pinnacle following the recent peak in 2023. The upward trend is expected to continue throughout our medium-term forecast period (2024-2028), reaching a projected 10.8 million by 2028. This trajectory suggests Oman is well on course to achieve its 2040 target of welcoming 11.0 million tourists.”

According to BMI, arrivals from GCC states reached approximately 1.6 million in 2023, with an estimated 610,000 visitors from India, followed by 150,000 from Germany and 118,000 from Mainland China.

The longer-term goal of attracting 11 million tourists annually by 2040, a central objective of Oman's Vision 2040 Strategy, seems attainable, BMI noted.

"Our forecast indicates that the country is poised to achieve this target, with robust growth expected in the medium term, averaging 20.4% y-o-y between 2024-2028, reaching 10.8 million arrivals by 2028. The increase will be driven by key source markets across the GCC, Asia-Pacific, and Europe," the report adds.

However, the report cautions that weaker global economic growth could pose a potential "downside risk" for arrivals, particularly from the Asia Pacific and European markets in 2024.

High living costs and tighter credit conditions may constrain discretionary spending, potentially impacting long-haul travel to Oman.

Despite these challenges, BMI remains optimistic about the industry's overall outlook.

"Oman's tourism sector is expected to remain resilient, especially over the medium-to-long term, due to its accessibility from key source markets across the GCC and strong transport links. Low barriers to entry, coupled with high household disposable incomes in the region, will drive demand for experiential products and services," the report said.

Furthermore, BMI pointed out that Oman presents an appealing market for tourists seeking luxury holiday options.

However, it stressed the need for Oman to "compete" with other GCC markets also expanding their tourism offerings as part of broader economic diversification efforts.