Muscat: Hotels in Oman recorded a 41.7 per cent year-on-year rise in the number of guests in September this year, according to National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
The data shows that there were 142,333 hotel guests in September compared with 100,412 visitors during the same month last year.
However, according to industry insiders, a preference for no-frills hotels has been, which is reflected in NCSI data as well.
The revenue of 3- to 5-star hotels in the Sultanate during the month reached OMR13,021,000, declining 4.1 per cent from OMR13,574,000 recroded in September 2015.
The total occupancy rate in hotels was 54.5 per cent in September, compared with 52.7 per cent in September last year, the NCSI said.
Vijay Handa, cluster general manager, Masirah Island Resort and the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, said that keeping in mind the current economic scenario, most individual travellers, and even corporate travellers, were looking at no-frills, affordable hotels that may not even be star-rated but provide good options.
“Especially in Oman, we see many economical hotel apartments mushrooming in almost all areas. These hotels take good care of their guests. Going forward, there is going to be more demand for boutique hostels, youth hostels, and select service hotels as compared to the luxury segments.
“We have witnessed a drop in visitors in most star-rated hotels and this is basically a shift to the affordable segment. These affordable segmentsare also providing the basics right,” he said.
The report also said 44,000 visitors visited the country during the Khareef season in September.
Oman is eyeing 8 to 12 per cent growth in the tourism sector in the next few years.
Industry experts say that Oman can easily achieve 12 per cent growth in the tourism sector in 2017 itself.
“The country is so beautiful and it has so much to offer, be it sea, mountains, rich culture, excellent infrastructure, no pollution and, on top of that, the safest tourist destination in the world,” a travel agent said.