Oman's tourism and hospitality industry is building momentum, with total investment in the sector set to hit $1.17 billion by 2026, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Last year was quite successful for the country, with visitor numbers in the first ten months growing to reach 2.5 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 15 per cent.
A report from Colliers International said: “Although the country faces significant competition other popular regional destinations, Oman has been able to distinguish itself as a unique tourism destination, being home to many eco, cultural and heritage attractions.”
To cope with the projected increased demand, hotel supply in Oman increased by 2,022 keys in 2016, and although occupancy rates were down 11 per cent over that period, largely due to lower oil prices, which subdued business travel, as well as the effect that weaker currencies had on the UK and EU leisure markets, this is expected to recover by 3 per cent through 2017.
The Colliers report said: “With the recent opening of the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre, which is expected to host around 28 exhibition events in 2017, the market is expected to see a slight recovery, with the hotel occupancy forecasted to close at 58 per cent.”
According to the latest data from STR, Oman currently has 15,843 hotels, with another 6,347 rooms in the pipeline, representing growth of 40.1 per cent.
A further area of growth for Oman is through passengers arriving at the country’s airports, with a 17 per cent increase in total airport arrivals through to the end of December 2016, while the new terminal at Muscat International Airport, which is expected to open this year, will have a capacity of 12 million passengers per annum.
Salalah International Airport (SAIA) has a current capacity of one million travellers annually with the ability to increase this further by up to six million. And six other airports are either in planning or construction phase, including the new airport at Ras Al Hadd.
Among the Oman-based exhibitors already committed to participating at this year’s ATM include: Sex Senses Zighy Bay Resort & Spa, Al Bustan Palace Ritz Carlton, Anantara Jabal Akhdar Resort, Kempinski Hotel Muscat, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa and Intercontinental Muscat.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
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TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
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