Oman saw 19 per cent fewer tourist arrivals in June than the same month last year, impacting the hospitality industry and other sectors, according to a report by the country’s National Centre for Statistics and Information.
Total tourist visitors reached 123,000 during the month, while 374,000 visitors departed the country, a 14 per cent decrease.
This followed a significant dip in visitors from inbound visitors from other Gulf countries, from 66,0999 to 38,692.
In a bad month for the local tourism industry, three-to-five-star hotel revenues also decreased 36.2 per cent from OMR 9,845,000 ($25.5m) in June 2015 to OMR 6,281,000 ($16.3m) this year, while the total occupancy rate fell from 38.9 per cent to 29.8 per cent.
Total guest numbers were down from 62,643 to 56,933 and the country saw a 73 per cent dip in the number of cruise ship visitors during the month.
Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry board member Ahmed Al Hooti told Times of Oman that decreasing tourist numbers were expected during the country’s current economic downturn but said new projects like the country’s waterfront development could boost visitors.
The sultanate has been hit hard by the decrease in oil prices forcing it to introduce austerity measures including cuts to subsidies and fee increases to tackle a budget deficit estimated at $8.6bn this year.
However, under a new tourism strategy revealed in April it plans to double the number of international visitors it attracts over the next two decades to 5 million by 2040.
More recently Oman Tourism announced plans to open three new hotels by 2018.