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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Omani tourism sector continues to make strong recovery

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MUSCAT: Data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) showed that the total number of visitors coming to visit Oman was 794,000, while the number of visitors departing from Oman by the end of May 2022 was about 1.5 million, indicating a 36-fold increase in the total number of visitors coming to Oman in May 2022 to 216,000 compared to the same month of the previous year, which numbered about 6,000.


As many as 216,000 tourists and visitors arrived in the Sultanate of Oman in May 2022, representing a 36-fold increase over the corresponding tally of about 6,000 visitors a year earlier, the National Centre for Statistics and Information said in a report.


The upsurge in arrivals, coupled with the strong growth reported in hotel revenues, attests to the recovery trend underway in Oman’s tourism and hospitality sector, say experts.


Luxury hotels in the 3 – 5 star category posted revenues of RO 14 million in May 2022 versus earnings of around RO 4 million for the same period in 2021. Around 140,000 guests stayed in this category of hotels in May 2022, up from 68,000 a year early. Occupancy was 42.8 per cent this year, compared to 24 per cent in May 2021.


In all, around 794,000 visitors travelled arrived in the Sultanate of Oman during the first five months of this year, versus nearly 1.5 million departures during the same period.


Travellers from the United Arab Emirates were the dominant number with 301,249 visitors (38 per cent of the total), followed by Indian nationals (111,883), Yemenis (28,495) and Pakistanis (23,603).


Of the 353,000 passengers who departed the country in May 2022, Omani citizens accounted for a 61.5 per cent share.


Revenues earned by luxury hotels in the 3 – 5 star category soared to RO 73.058 million during the January – May 2022 period, representing a 129 per cent increase over the corresponding figure for 2021.


There was a 46.2 per cent increase in the number of guests staying at these hotels during the first five months of this year. Occupancy was 23.3 per cent during the same period this year.


Holidaymakers from Europe numbered 176,591 during the January – May 2022 period, representing a 809 per cent over the tally of 19,419 guests staying at local hotels during the corresponding period of 2021.


Guests from the GCC saw their numbers surge 778 per cent to 50,803 this year, up from 5,783 last year. The numbers of local Omanis as hotel guests dipped 9.2 per cent to 280,306, down from 308,818 last year.


Hotel guests from the United States totalled 23,747 (200 per cent increase), African continent (3,301) and Asia (76,807) by the end of May 2022.


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