MUSCAT: The number of visitors to Salalah tourism season 2019 touched 766,772 recording a decline by 7.2 per cent compared to 2018 season.
The visitors’ spending reached RO 78 million, up 1.4 per cent compared to the season of 2018, when it was RO 76.9 million, according to the statistics of Salalah tourism season 2019 recently released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
The NCSI statistics noted out that the increase in tourists’ spending during Salalah tourism season 2019 was on housing and flights.
The statistical data, which is based on the inventory of visitors to the Salalah tourism season of 2019 conducted by NCSI during the period from June 21 to September 21, 2019, showed that tourists’ spending on recreational tourism ranked first, reaching RO 73.3 million, recording 93.9 per cent of the total spending, followed by spending on business tourism (2.6 per cent).
The statistics also showed that Qatari visitors were the highest spending among visitors of the Salalah tourism season 2019, with an average expenditure of RO 281.1 per capita; followed by Kuwaiti visitors, with an average spending of RO 248.5 per capita; followed by Saudi visitors, with average spending of RO 124.5 per capita. Asian visitors were the least spending, with an average of RO 78.7 per capita.
The spending on housing accounted for 32.2 per cent of the total tourism spending while spending on food and drink ranked second, with 24.9 per cent. Shopping, transportation and entertainment accounted for 24.1 per cent and air transport accounted for about 18.8 per cent.
The same data pointed out that most visitors (57 per cent) preferred staying in furnished apartments and houses, recording 437,262 visitors, while about 245,236 visitors preferred staying in hotels and hotel apartments. As many as 37,061 preferred private houses; 35,732 visitors preferred staying with their relatives or friends; 8,608 preferred camping and 2,873 visitors stayed in other residences.
The total number of cash withdrawals made from automated teller machines (ATM) in the Governorate of Dhofar during Salalah tourism season 2019 increased by 21.9 per cent during July, reaching RO 95.9 million, compared to the tourism season of 2018.
The NCSI statistics data also showed that the number of nights spent by visitors to the Salalah tourism season 2019 reached 5 million nights, compared to 6 million nights spent by the tourists during in 2018.
Hotel revenues during July and August were up by 96.7 per cent and 69.9 per cent, respectively, and the inflation rate in hotels and restaurants increased by 8.27 per cent and 3.07 per cent, respectively.
The total revenue of hotels in the Governorate of Dhofar during the period from May 2019 to October 2019 reached RO 12.49 million.
The visitors who entered the Governorate of Dhofar through the land port constituted about 79.6 per cent of the total visitors, with about 95,000 vehicles.
Omani visitors accounted for 70.5 per cent of the total visitors to Salalah, followed by Gulf, Asian and other Arab visitors, with 16.9 per cent, 8 per cent and 3.6 per cent, respectively.