MUSCAT, APRIL 25
International tourist arrivals are forecast to soar to 4.77 million visitors by 2028, generating as much as RO 2.137 billion in ‘visitor exports’ for the local economy, according to a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), a London-based institution representing the world’s leading private sector Travel & Tourism businesses.
This compares with around RO 1.034 billion in visitor exports —described as a key component of the direct contribution of travel and tourism — generated in 2017, the report said.
For 2018, visitor exports are projected to grow by 6.5 per cent on the back of an estimated 2.739 million international tourist arrivals anticipated this year, it stated.
‘Visitor Exports’, according to the WTTC, reflect the total spending within a country by international tourists for both business and leisure trips, including spending on transport, but excluding spending on education.
‘Visitor Exports’ are projected to grow at an annual rate of 6.9 per cent over the next 10 years through to 2018, the report said. This rate of growth effectively places Oman 6th in the ranking of countries based on the pace of growth of their ‘visitor exports’. A total of 185 countries were ranked in this study.
In the Middle East region, Oman is ranked only second to Qatar in the list of countries with high Visitor Export growth rates over the next 10 years Qatar is projected to grow at the rate of 9.1 per cent. Placed third after the Sultanate is Lebanon which has an estimated growth rate of 6.0 per cent.
The WTTC report underscores the increasingly important role that travel and tourism is expected to play in driving Oman’s economic growth over the next several years. Capital investment in the sector is expected to rise by 4.3 per cent in 2018, up from the previous year’s value of RO 273 million. Over the next 10 years (2018 – 2028), tourism investment is anticipated to grow by an average of 3 per cent annually to RO 383 million in 2028. Travel & Tourism’s share of total national investment will also rise from 2.8 per cent in 2018 to 3.0 per cent in 2028, the report said.
Significantly, domestic travel spending generated 29.7 per cent of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in 2017 compared with 70.3 per cent for visitor exports (foreign visitor spending or international tourism receipts), said WTTC.
Domestic travel spending is expected to grow by 3.6 per cent in 2018 to RO 453 million, and rise by 2.1 per cent annually to RO 558 million in 2028.
MUSCAT, APRIL 25