Over 70 pc Omani tourists male

A mammoth 3.9 million Omanis visited different countries as tourists in a period of ten years till 2016. In addition, 70.4 per cent of the outbound visitors were male and 29.6 per cent were female in 2016. According to a report by National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the outbound visitors totalled 5.9 million from 2005 to 2016. Of this, 13 per cent growth was between 2005 and 2010, while the period between 2012 and 2016 witnessed 48.6 per cent growth. Asians formed 1.7 million of the total visitors. “Although the total number of outbound visitors has been increasing at an average rate of 7.4 per cent every year over the past decade, the relative share of outbound tourism has remained constant,” revealed the report.

In 2016, outbound visitors stayed 88.4 million nights, with the overall average being 21 and the Omani average being six nights. “In the outbound tourism segment, 40.8 per cent stayed in hotels or hotel apartments and 27.8 per cent with friends or relatives,” said the report. Of the total outbound expenditure for 2016, RO 123.1 million, or 25.1 per cent, was spent on air tickets, and RO 82.9 million, or nearly 16.9 per cent, on accommodation. While RO 70.5 million, or 14.4 per cent was spent on food and beverages, external transport costs RO 19.0 million, or 3.9 per cent, and RO 123.5 million, or 25.2 per cent, was spent on shopping. A majority of outbound tourists spent more than one night abroad at 4.2 million, or 70.6 per cent, as opposed to 1.7 million same-day visitors, which accounted for 29.4 per cent.

SAMUEL KUTTY