Oman has seen a rise in tourism numbers this year, according to figures from the National Center for Statistics and Information.
Data shows that four and five-star hotels saw a 23.8 per cent increase in visitors for the first four months of 2014 compared to the same period last year.
Overall hotel revenues in Oman reached OMR65.9 million, up 10 per cent from the same period last year, when it touched OMR59.7 million.
In addition to an increase in hotel revenues and occupancy rates, Muscat International Airport also saw a rise in passenger traffic. The airport saw an eight per cent increase in passenger numbers in the first five months of 2014, receiving 3.6 million passengers compared to the 3.4 million passengers seen during the same period in 2013.
The Gulf country has taken many steps recently to boost its tourism sector with many mega projects in the pipeline.
Oman’s first mega tourism project Saraya Bandar Jissah, worth $600 million, is an integrated tourism complex (ITC), with the first phase of the development scheduled to be completed by 2017. It will be located in the Hajjar Mountains in the Gulf of Oman and will spread over an area of 2.2 million square metres of land. It will consist of residences, a recreational area, and two five-star hotels.
The country is also promoting itself heavily by signing new partnerships and increasing flight connectivity.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the direct contribution of travel and tourism to Oman’s GDP reached Dhs9.5 billion in 2013, which is three per cent of the country’s GDP. This figure is expected to rise by 10 per cent in 2014. The increase in travel and tourism activities is also expected to increase by 5.4 per cent annually for the next 10 years.
The Omani tourism sector is also creating many jobs in the market, with 41,000 jobs poised to enter the market in 2014, according to WTTC.
The country will also witness one of the strongest global growth rates in the tourism sector for the coming year, it said.