Muscat: Tourism in Oman grew by almost 5 per cent in 2017, according to recent figures published by the Ministry of Tourism.
With a total of 3 million and 300 thousand tourists visiting last year, the Sultanate enjoyed a strong 4.7 per cent year-on-year growth in the number of international travellers, further illustrating the success of Oman’s economic diversification strategy.
Boosted by Oman’s dedication to boosting non-oil exports as part of Vision 2040 and the National Programme for Enhancing Economic Diversification, Tanfeedh, tourism has continued to perform as a major engine for job creation, economic development, and sustainable growth. Registering a successive record number of travellers since 2015, the new figures signal the continued progress of the government’s National 2040 Tourism Strategy, which aims to boost the sector’s contribution to GDP by 6 per cent.
Oman’s 20-year strategy has already begun bearing fruit and is well on track to raise visitor numbers to 5 million per annum by 2040. The strategy hinges on developing dedicated tourism clusters in destinations such as Muscat, Musandam, Al Hajjar Mountains, Frankincense trail in Salalah, and multiple desert areas popular with adventure tourists. In addition, the ministry aims to employ as many as 500,000 people in the tourism sector, with expected investments totalling OMR19 billion, of which only 12 per cent will be from the
Tourism growth in Oman has been comprehensive, as statistics show a marked increase even in areas outside Muscat.
According to a report by STR Global, hotels in Oman saw their occupancy rates rise by 3 per cent and hotel charges increase by 4.5 per cent in January 2018, compared with the same period last year. Also, occupancy at five-star hotels in Oman rose by 10 per cent in January this year, up from 63 to 73 per cent.