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ME tourism sector posts strongest post-pandemic recovery

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The tourism industry in the Middle East has recorded the “strongest rebound” in global tourism recovery after the covid-19 virus pandemic according to a report from HSBC Global Research.

Economist and report author, Maitreyi Das , shared the following in the press statement, “The Middle East region saw the strongest performance in terms of recovery in tourism, and is the first region in the world to recover beyond pre-pandemic numbers.”

The Middle East has the highest GDP from tourism contribution, at 5 per cent , the report states.

“Globally, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are the best performing destinations in terms of tourist arrival in Q1 2023.” she added.

Several Omani government officials shared that the tourism sector in Oman is slowly recovering from the pandemic.

Speaking to the Observer, Dr Siham Ahmed al Harthy, Board Member and Head of the Tourism Committee at OCCI, shared that the visitor growth rate grew by almost 348 per cent in 2022.

She added that the sector contributed 3 per cent to the local GDP in 2022, marking a 0.6 increase from 2021.

However, the figure has not yet returned to its pre-pandemic state, with a recorded contribution of 4.1 per cent to the GDP in 2019.

Nonetheless, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism shared that is aims to raise the sector’s contribution to 5 per cent by 2030.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism shared that the number of ongoing tourism projects in Oman is anticipated to climb from 2021 to 363 in 2025, with a total investment value of RO 7.49 billion.

The Ministry and the sector’s stakeholders have been actively exploring other forms of tourism within the Sultanate to ensure all-year round visitors. These include real estate tourism, medical tourism, and sports tourism.

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