There are ample indications that the tourism sector of the Sultanate of Oman is growing and recovering from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. The period between January and November 2022 shows remarkable progress.
The growth being witnessed now is the result of the efforts made by the authorities.
Many have thought that it was beyond recovery. But this impression was proved wrong by the policies and planning in the country. It is the farsightedness of the leadership which has brought success to the efforts made under the auspices of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism to get rid of the consequences of the pandemic.
Nobody can ever forget what the world as well as this country has experienced due to the pandemic.
The recent official figures indicate an increase in the number of visitors and tourists. There was a 438.3 per cent growth in the number of visitors in November 2022 compared with the same period in the previous year. With this, the number of those who arrived here jumped to a whopping 2.5 million. This figure, by all accounts, represents a qualitative achievement for this vital sector and shows that it is moving forward steadily and confidently. It is also an important stride towards achievement of the objectives set under Oman Vision 2040.
Tourism is one of the most reliable sectors in the economic diversification plans. This is a matter of pride that there are positive developments in the area. This will certainly bolster the economic activity of the country and serve the interests of all.
These numbers are significant as they show that the sector is promising. We count on the kind of the policies, strategies and plannings it enjoys currently. It has shown its potential as one of the major means of the economic diversification efforts. It is going to contribute to the gross domestic product of the country significantly. It can ensure fastest growth of the national economy and better reputation for the country which will be ultimately beneficial for the people. The increase in the number of visitors and tourists means more goodwill in other countries and its markets. This indicator will further encourage foreign tourists to rush to Oman for holidaying.
We describe this sector as the most developed area of the national economy. It can participate in the strongly competitive market of the world of tourism and emerge as a winner. It has survived the most devastating challenge and is now growing steadily.
The revenue of hotels until November 2022 was RO 161 million, which is an increase of 91.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2021. Certainly, the increase in the number of tourists will lead to a growth in the revenues of all other sectors related to this strategic industry.
The statistics speak louder about the pace of the recovery of the sector. The only thing required is efforts to build upon it. The number of tourists from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries was highest. It reached 1.4 million to be followed by the tourists and visitors from India with 292,000. There were also 98,000 Yemenis who visited Oman followed by 65,000 Pakistanis, 57,000 Germans and 54,000 Britons.
We are confident that the efforts of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism and all others who are related to the industry will be successful. The concerted efforts made under the auspices of the ministry will achieve the goal.