According to research conducted ahead of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2019, tourism arrivals to Oman will increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of five per cent between 2018 and 2023 to 3.5 million.
The recently released data predicts the rise will be fuelled by visitors from India, who accounted for 21 per cent of total international arrivals during 2018. In addition, arrivals from the UK (nine per cent), Germany (seven per cent), Philippines (six per cent) and the UAE (six per cent) are also expected to contribute to the growth, supported by the expansion of Muscat International Airport, new and improved flight connections and new electronic and short-stay visa processes.
A number of exhibitors from the Sultanate will work to acquire their share of these high-growth markets at ATM 2019, including the Oman Ministry of Tourism, Oman Air, The Chedi Muscat, Al Fawaz Tours and Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz Carlton Hotel.
Exhibition director ME, ATM, Danielle Curtis remarked: “The latest data demonstrates the growth in tourism arrivals to Oman and is set to continue as we look ahead to 2023, supported by the recently opened Muscat International Airport expansion, as well as strategic investment from the government, as it turns to tourism to diversify its income streams away from hydrocarbon receipts.
Curtis continued to say that despite facing significant competition from other popular regional destinations, Oman has distinguished itself as a unique tourism destination over the past few years, with a wide-range of responsible, eco, cultural and heritage attractions on offer.
Accommodating the predicted influx in arrivals, the research reveals a strong pipeline of new supply expected to enter the Muscat market – with approximately 4,600 additional keys forecasted by 2022.
During 2019 alone, 20 new hotels are expected to open in Muscat, including three new five-star hotels and three four-star hotels, as well as five three-star hotels, six two-star hotels and three one-star hotels, as Oman’s Ministry of Tourism looks to make accommodation more affordable in order to cater to a wider market.
“At present, around 57 per cent of the hospitality demand in Muscat is generated by corporate demand, while leisure travellers account for 32 per cent of total demand. By the end of 2019, average occupancy is predicted to increase five per cent to around 59.7 per cent,” Curtis concluded.