Oman's tourism sector set firmly on growth path, says Colliers International report

Oman Wednesday 22/February/2017 21:36 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman's tourism sector set firmly on growth path, says Colliers International report

Muscat: Oman’s tourism sector is expected to continue its strong growth, an international report has said.
The report, published by Colliers International also hailed the strong growth of the tourism sector in the Sultanate over the past years. Colliers International is a Toronto, Canada based global company operating in the hospitality, entertainment and health spas sector.
The report expects the continuation of this pace of growth after massive investments by the government, as well as the existence of infrastructure and supporting facilities with the aim of income resources development.
The report said that despite the competition faced by the Sultanate by other regional tourist destinations, but it was able to distinguish itself as a unique tourist destination, as it embraces many environmental, cultural and heritage landmarks that attract tourists, including four world heritage sites classified as such by
the Unesco.
The report added that many marketing campaigns were launched over the past few years, including Omani Tourism Strategy 2040 aimed at the development of tourism through the promotion of the tourism sector in the Sultanate, adding that new strategy focuses on the development of Oman as a unique destination can be considered as a comprehensive station that meets the varied and different needs of the visitors, especially young travellers, who tend to try the new things in their travel. The report said that the strategy aimed at increasing the contribution of the tourism sector in the gross domestic product from 2.7 per cent in 2015 to 6 per cent in 2040.
The report pointed out that the Sultanate witnessed an increase of 17 per cent in the number of travellers coming to its airports until the end of December 2016, adding that with the start of Omani airline al SalamAir in providing services and the opening of the new terminal at Muscat International Airport in this year with a capacity of 12 million passengers per year as well as Salalah Airport, with a capacity of one million passengers a year, with the possibility of further capacity expansion from two million to six million passengers.
It pointed out that there are six other airports in stages ranging from planning and implementation, including a new airport in Ras Al Hadd, adding that the Sultanate focuses on the railway network development for making a link between the GCC countries at the regional level and between the governorates of the country at the domestic level, stressing that the growing number of tourists and the continued infusion of investment to develop infrastructure for the tourism sector will increase the demand for hospitality establishments in the Sultanate.
The report said that the hotels of international brands dominate the supply in the hospitality sector in Muscat, where 5-star hotels category constitute 26 per cent, 4-star hotels 17 per cent of the market, in addition to 693 new rooms that were added in 2016.
The report added that it is expected that supply will continue with strong rates during the few coming years. The report also expects a growing supply of global businesses institutions at 9 per cent rate between the years 2017 and 2020.
The report added that although hotel markets in the region were influenced by corporate sector travel, resulting from lower oil prices and a slowdown in European entertainment tourism market because of the low value of the currency, but with the opening of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre recently in Muscat which is planned to host 28 exhibitions during 2017, the market is expected to see a slight recovery in the coming period, especially in hotel occupancy rates, expected to reach 58 per cent.