The long weekend due to National Day holidays gave a small boost to the hospitality sector in the country.
Despite the closure of beaches and public parks as part of COVID-19 restrictions, hotels in Oman reported decent occupancy that helped the sector to minimise the effects of lockdown that virtually crippled this crucial industry.
Omran Group, the national tourism development company, has been running a ‘WithinOman’ campaign offering massive discounts at some of its properties which helped the hotels to reclaim some of the lost ground.
Talking to the Observer, hotels managers said most of the properties recorded decent occupancy as people were looking for breaks from home.
“As per the Ministry of Health (MoH) guidelines, there were some restrictions especially with the use of some facilities. Most of the guests were aware of the rules and willingly complied with instructions,” said a supervisor at one of the hotels in Jabal Al Akhdhar.
Hotel rates were slightly more than the average during this summer due to occupancy and some properties were not fully functional due to shortage of staff.
“Keeping low level of occupancy most of our staff have been sent on leave,” said an official at one of the Crowne Plaza properties.
Sur, Ras Al Jinz and Masirah were among the favourites this time for visitors from Muscat.
Masirah, Ras Al Jinz and Al Ashkara had seen full occupancy for the weekend which was clubbed with the 2-day National Day holidays, said the cluster manager for these properties.
“With beach and most public places closed to avoid gathering, hotels with facilities such as swimming pools were the only available option,” said Moshin Khamis who spent two days with his family in Masirah.
With visa rules for tourists expected to be eased by the new year, travel and tourism industry will hopefully get better.
The total revenue of Omani hotels in the three-to-five-star category fell by 42.2 per cent
in the first four months of the year to RO 55.18 million, compared to the same period in 2019, as the impact of the coronavirus took hold.