Positive trend to continue this year
MUSCAT – The Sultanate of Oman’s tourism sector displayed quite praiseworthy recovery last year (2022). It exceeded expectations and in fact the positive trend was bound to reverberate this year (2023) too, reports note.
Positive expectations for 2023
“The recovery of the tourism sector in the Sultanate of Oman in 2022 was stronger than previous expectations, with the continuation of positive expectations for 2023,” a report issued by BMI, an economic solutions entity affiliated with Fitch agency, has revealed.
3.5m tourists expected in 2023
The BMI report shows that the total number of international tourist arriving into Oman in 2023, are forecasted to reach 3.5 million tourists, up by 20.8 percent on an annual base, compared to 2022. The average annual growth of the number of tourists arriving to Oman over the medium-term (2023-2027) is expected to reach 7.4 percent, as demand for leisure and commercial tourism continues to drive recovery amidst high oil prices that boost domestic investments.
ME tourists largest source
The report predicts that the Middle East region will be the largest source of arriving tourists to Oman in 2023, reaching 1.5 million tourists, followed by tourists expected from the Asia-pacific region (606,390) and Europe (320,600).
The number of arrivals from Africa is expected to reach 72,000 tourists, while the number of arrivals from America is expected to reach 72,800 tourists.
Steady gains till 2027
The report expects steady gains for Oman’s tourism sector until 2027 and beyond, supporting long-term prospects through economic diversification and the objectives of Oman Vision 2040. This is based on the efforts exerted by Oman, represented by the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, to support the tourism sector through investments in infrastructure.
11m visitors by 2040
Further, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism’s comprehensive plan targets the annual arrival of 11 million visitors by 2040. The plan includes new tourism and heritage projects that contribute to raising the volume of total Investments in the sector.
Major tourism projects
BMI’s report pointed out that there are various tourism projects under implementation process, and many adventure tourism projects that are slated for completion by 2025/2026, in addition to a number of other major projects.
Strong government support
The report also added that in addition to strong government support and ambitious growth targets, the tourism sector in Oman is enhanced by natural attractions, wildlife, historical and cultural heritage, including various heritage sites and Oman’s proximity to tourist markets.
Oman enjoys various areas with exceptional temperatures in summer and a variety of high-end adventures, eco-tourism opportunities, deep-sea ports capable of accommodating various cruise ships, in addition to the capabilities of Muscat International Airport, which has a capacity of receiving 12 million passengers annually.
126.7 percent increase in nearly six months
Meanwhile, a report issued by Forward Keys, a global leader in travel data and analytics, shows that, the Oman has recorded an increase of 126.7 percent in the number of arriving international flights during the period from January 1 to June 25, 2023. This increase came from a number of international tourism markets in the region and beyond, with a minimum one-night stays.
Attention to international indicators
On its part, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism emphasised that the ministry accords attention to monitoring international indicators related to the tourism sector, which helps to understand market trends and analyse the performance of the tourism sector at the global level and its reflections locally. The ministry measures the impact of marketing efforts to improve offers to tourist destinations and direct plans to enhance the sector and improve its performance.
These indicators contribute to increasing competitiveness in the global market. Improvement of international indicators leads to positive results that contribute to increasing investors’ interest and attracting investments into the sector, which leads to its development and strengthening its economic cycle.