Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Muscat – A report issued by international firm BMI, a Fitch Solutions Company, has indicated that the recovery of the tourism sector in Oman in 2022 was stronger than expected and that the positive trend is expected to continue in the current year. According to BMI’s analysis, 3.5mn international tourists are expected to visit Oman in 2023, marking a 20.8% annual increase from 2022. Furthermore, the average annual tourist influx for the forecast period of 2023 to 2027 is expected to grow by 7.4%. This growth is attributed to both leisure and commercial tourism, boosted by high oil prices that stimulate domestic investments. The report suggests that the Middle East will be the primary source of tourists for Oman in 2023, with 1.5mn visitors expected from the region. The Asia-Pacific region and Europe trail behind, anticipated to bring 606,390 and 320,600 tourists respectively. Meanwhile, Africa and America are predicted to contribute 72,000 and 72,800 visitors respectively.

BMI anticipates a consistent upward trajectory for Oman’s tourism sector until 2027 and beyond. This aligns with Oman’s economic diversification strategy and Oman Vision 2040’s directives. These positive projections are based on the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism’s (MHT) dedicated efforts, including infrastructure investments and a comprehensive plan to attract more visitors. MHT’s ambitious strategy targets 11mn annual visitors by 2040. The plan involves unveiling new tourism and heritage initiatives that will increase the sector’s total investments.

The BMI report identifies numerous tourism projects currently underway, with several adventure-focused initiatives slated for completion by 2025/2026. Additionally, Oman’s natural attractions, historical and cultural heritage sites, wildlife, and convenient location enrich the country’s appeal. Furthermore, state-of-the-art facilities like Muscat International Airport, with an annual capacity of 12mn passengers, and deep-sea ports capable of handling cruise ships, enhance the nation’s tourist infrastructure.

Oman is also capitalising on various opportunities, such as expanding entertainment and adventure tourism, promoting marine tourism, and strengthening relationships with holiday service providers. The increasing use of digital platforms to facilitate holiday bookings and the burgeoning cruise ship sector also indicate a promising future. A separate report from the global leader in travel data and analytics, Forward Keys, showed a staggering 126.7% increase in international flights arriving in Oman from January 1 to June 25, 2023. These arrivals included at least a one-night stay.

MHT has underscored the importance of closely tracking international tourism indicators. These indicators provide valuable insights into market trends, the performance of Oman’s tourism sector globally and locally, and the effectiveness of marketing efforts. They also help to enhance the tourism sector, improve its performance, and attract investments, all of which bolster its economic impact, the ministry stated.

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