MUSCAT: The Sultanate’s tourism revenue exceeded RO 1.2 billion at the end of last year, comprising a decline by 5.7 per cent compared to 2015. Domestic tourism accounted for 73.5 per cent of the total of RO 882 million, while inbound tourism accounted for 26.5 per cent of tourism production in 2016 and RO 319 million. The Tourism Statistics Bulletin issued by the National Center for Statistics and Information said, the total tourism production in the Sultanate by the end of 2016 amounted to RO 1.20 billion, of which RO 319 million or 26.5 per cent came from incoming tourism, while 73.5 per cent or RO 882.5 million of local tourism.
The total tourist spending in 2016 increased by 10.3 per cent to reach RO 319 million compared to RO 289 million and 168 thousand at the end of 2015. The average expenditure of tourists during the last year was RO 101.21 and the outbound tourism expenditure increased to RO 490 million and 282 thousand and domestic tourism to RO 882 million and 489 thousand, according to data released by the National Center for Statistics and Information.
The number of visitors to the Sultanate doubled during the last decade 2005-2016, while the number of outbound citizens and resident tourists increased three times. The number of incoming tourism to the Sultanate increased by nearly 40 per cent every five years, as the number of tourist to the Sultanate om 2005 stood at 1.1 million tourists, increasing to 1.5 million in 2010 and then to 3.2 million in 2016. Visiting the relatives and friends topped the list of the main purpose of tourism, by 41.9 per cent, then the purpose of recreation by 33.5 per cent and then the purpose of work trip by 17.7 per cent. — ONA