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Hospitality sector poised to weather crisis

Kabeer Yousuf -

MUSCAT, Feb. 16  -

Oman’s hospitality sector which has been slightly affected by the falling oil prices, can have all the reasons to rejoice as an international study report has forecast that the hotel sector will see profits rise.

“We are in the path of continuous improvement and marching towards a full-fledged Centre for MICE tourism along with others and we will add our newest hotel Crowne Plaza by mid-2017”, Trevor McCartney, CEO, Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre said adding that yet another five-star property JW Marriott will make its presence felt in Muscat by next year.

A report published by Alpen Capital has predicted increasing numbers of travellers from newer source markets such as India, China, Far East and Saudi Arabia which will eventually augment growth in the region’s large hotel industry, provided they can weather the current storm which will last for few more months.

According to Alpen Capital Hospitality Report, the GCC’s hospitality market is expected to grow at a 7.6 per cent CAGR from an estimated $25.4 billion in 2015 to $36.7 billion in 2020. Despite a challenging period last year and a weak average rate environment in 2017, the market is likely to recover in the long-term, driven by rise in tourist arrivals stemming from upcoming mega events and government efforts, the report further said.

“Diversification in new source markets will eventually allow a recovery in hospitality industry performance levels as emerging inbound markets gain traction” says Simon Allison, CEO of HOFTEL, leading association of hotel property investors and organiser of GIOHIS 2017.

Asian and Far East countries are now the region’s first source market and some of the GCC countries including Oman and others are currently building their place on the international map with the addition of new leisure, entertainment and tourist offerings.

Yet another milestone in the travel and tourism sector is the Sri Lankan Airways’ appointment of a leading travel group, Travel City, as its GSA aiming at bringing more tourists to Oman and back.

“We are forecasting a nearly 50 per cent growth in inbound tourism where we are planning to bring tourists for Oman’s leisure sector”, Sunil Prabhaker, CEO of the group said.

“We conducted 18 high net worth weddings last year and around 25 are on the way. This will be a great boost to all sectors including the SAME as the case was”, he added.

With Oman’s newest convention centre assuming greater priority to MICE tourism and Oman getting even popular for destination wedding and more hotel rooms to be added in the coming months, government plans of tourism as the next revenue generator for national GDP is gaining momentum.

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