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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Oman leads MENA region in projected tourist arrivals for H2 2023

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In exciting news for the tourism industry, the Sultanate of Oman is set to become the leading destination for tourist arrivals in the Middle East during the second half of 2023. According to the latest data from ForwardKeys, a leading travel analytics company, Oman is projected to achieve a remarkable 31% growth in tourist arrivals, outpacing its regional counterparts.


Juan Gomez, ForwardKeys Head of Market Intelligence, said: “In 2023, the Middle East’s impressive tourism performance continues, with a projected increase in international arrivals compared to the previous year in the remaining six months. Most destinations are on track to match or exceed their 2022 numbers, a testament to the relentless efforts of local authorities in transforming the region into a global tourism powerhouse.” The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan are also projected to have double-digit growth in international arrivals for the second half of 2023.


“While destinations like Qatar may not reach the exceptional volumes of 2022 due to the Fifa World Cup’s influence, neighbouring countries continue to bask in the afterglow of last year’s sporting spectacle. Countries such as Jordan and Egypt show forward booking levels lower than the previous year, but this situation remains dynamic, and an upward trend could materialize as the year progresses,” Gomez added.


The Sultanate of Oman has been actively promoting its unique blend of natural beauty, ancient heritage, and warm hospitality to attract visitors from around the world. The nation's efforts have clearly paid off, as ForwardKeys predicts a substantial surge in tourist arrivals during the latter half of this year.


ForwardKeys' analysis indicates that Oman's popularity is on the rise, with an increasing number of international travelers expressing interest in exploring the country's diverse attractions. Factors contributing to this growth include improved connectivity, enhanced marketing campaigns, and the successful implementation of initiatives aimed at easing visa regulations.


Muscat is expected to witness a significant influx of tourists, as the city boasts a rich cultural heritage and stunning architectural landmarks. Visitors will also be drawn to Oman's breathtaking landscapes, including the picturesque coastal areas of Salalah, especially during the Khareef season, the dramatic mountains of Al Jabal al Akhdar and the vast deserts of Sharqiyah Sands.


Furthermore, Oman's commitment to sustainable tourism and eco-friendly practices has resonated with travelers seeking responsible and immersive experiences. The country's dedication to preserving its natural environment while offering authentic cultural encounters has positioned it as an attractive destination for conscious tourists.


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