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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Steep rise in tourists; GCC countries, India top the list

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@samuelkuttyvp -


Thanks to the progress of vaccination campaigns and the lifting of a number of restrictions, inbound arrivals to Oman witnessed a steep rise in October this year.


According to a report by National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), a total of 108,000 people visited Oman during the month with people from the Gulf countries taking the top slot with 51.2 per cent to reach 55,230, followed by Indian, Yemeni and Egyptian visitors.


Although the figures are far from those achieved in the pre- pandemic level, the report points out that, “the number of inbound visitors is 10 times higher compared to the corresponding month in October 2020”.


Even as Oman’s hotel industry is reeling with drop in revenues and mounting losses due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the NCSI report shows rise in hotel occupancy during October this year.


Revenue from the hotels in the category of 3-5 stars during the month reached RO 10.1 million, which is 105.8 per cent higher compared to RO 4.9 million in the same month last year.


The occupancy rate in the hotels in the same category stood at 39.7 per cent with a rise of 84.5 per cent compared to 21.5 per cent in October 2020.


The total number of guests in the hotels during the month reached 104,300 with an increase of 36.7 per cent.


At the same time, the number of outbound visitors departing from the Sultanate during October this year reached 246,000 people.


“As many as 104,000 Omanis, forming 57 per cent of the total outbound visitors, left the Sultanate during the month. The increase is 170,000 visitors during the period between October 2021 and the same month in the previous year”, the report reveals.


The United Nations World Tourism Organization expects the contribution of tourism to the world economy to be around $1.9 trillion, which is a slight improvement over last year's $1.6 trillion.


But still far lower than the $3.5 trillion the industry earned in 2019.


Global lockdowns and severe travel restrictions caused international tourism to nosedive by 73 per cent in 2020, with about one billion fewer people traveling abroad than the year before.


But even as vaccines have become more widely available this year, the roll-out has been uneven, and the global tourism industry has struggled to bounce back amid the spread of variants and high infection rates in some parts of the world.


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