The tourism sector has contributed 2.4 per cent to the state GDP in 2021, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
The Sultanate of Oman aims to raise the tourism sector’s contribution to the GDP to 5 per cent by 2030, and the sector’s contribution to rise to about 10 per cent by 2040. The direct and indirect added value of the sector stood at RO 1.3 billion by the end of 2019, with a direct value of RO 718 million, compared to RO 700 million in 2018.
Over the past years, the tourism sector has witnessed a steady growth as a result of the efforts made by the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, Omran Group, and other authorities concerned as they work in an integrated manner to identify priorities, projects and opportunities that contribute to increasing the potential of the sector.
The value of investment opportunities in the tourism sector during the next 20 years is estimated to be around RO 15 billion.
The figures also show that the number of the arrivals through Omani airports increased significantly at the end of last April by 100 per cent, while the number of departures increased by 69 per cent during the same period. The total numbers (arrivals, departures and transits) reached 2,324,007 million passengers. This goes along with the plans set by the Sultanate of Oman to activate the tourism sector as one of the goals of economic diversification in Oman Vision 2040.
Omani cities are named among the most beautiful tourist areas among the Arab Gulf countries due to a variety of reasons including amicable climate, different terrain, mountains, valleys and beaches overlooking the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman.
In 2019, Oman won the award for the best tourist destination in the Arab region, according to the poll conducted by the German “Go Asia” Foundation .
In June 2021, the first integrated digital platform was launched for business clients in the travel and tourism sector, which reinforces Oman’s Vision 2040 to boost local and international investments in the tourism sector, to attract 11.7 million tourists by 2040, including 5 million international tourists, according to officials.
Recently, Fitch Solutions International raised its positive forecast for the recovery of tourism sector in Oman during 2022 and 2023, with stronger growth expected during the medium-term forecast period (2024-2026). The agency’s report indicated that there is a noticeable recovery in the sector in Oman, which began in the late fourth quarter of 2021, with expectation of a continued growth over the coming years, benefiting from the economic diversification agenda of Oman Vision 2040 and the tourism development plans implemented by the government through recovery programmes from the effects of pandemic, digital marketing initiatives, and the announcement of new investments in the sector.