MUSCAT: The total revenue of the tourism sector in the Sultanate reached RO 1.4 billion at the end of 2018, with domestic tourism contributing about 50.8 per cent and inbound tourists contributing 49.2 per cent of the total revenue of the tourism sector in the Sultanate, according to data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). The NCSI data show that the direct added value of tourism sector reached RO 788.6 million at the end of 2018, recording an increase of 6.8 per cent compared to 2017, when the direct added value was RO 738.4 million.
The tourism index report indicates that the number of visitors to the Sultanate continually increased during the last eight years (2011-2018), with a growth rate of 12.8 per cent to reach 3.2 million visitors in 2018 compared to 1.4 million visitors in 2011. The number of visitors in 2018 increased by 2 per cent compared to 2017. As much as 46 per cent of tourists, reaching 1.5 million visitors, visited Oman for entertainment, followed by 32.1 per cent for visiting friends and family and 10.8 per cent for business purposes.
The number of tourists who stayed more than one night during their trip to Oman reached 71 per cent of the total number of visitors, with 2.3 million tourists, compared to 29 per cent for visitors for one-day visitors only, with their numbers reaching 941,000 visitors during the same year.
GCC nationals topped the list of inbound tourists, with 45.4 per cent, followed by 21.3 per cent Asian visitors and 19 per cent European visitors.
The total expenses of inbound tourists quadrupled during the period of 2011 to 2018 from RO 158.6 million in 2011 to RO 679.2 million at the end of 2018, recording an increase of 23.1 per cent, with an average spending of 9.1 per cent per visitor to reach RO 209.5 compared to RO 113.9 in 2011.
Expenditure on accommodation services has been considered as the highest among the expenditures of the inbound tourists, reaching RO 212.5 million, making 31.3 per cent of the total spending of the tourists while visitors expenditure on air transport services ranked second, with the amount reaching RO 202 million, or 29.7 per cent of the total spending of inbound tourists. Spending on nutrition and shopping was 14.7 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively.
The number of nights spent by tourists in 2018 reached 20.3 million nights at a rate of 9 nights per one person where the percentage of visitors for leisure and recreation was the highest, recording 51 per cent of the total number of nights, reaching 10.4 million nights and increasing by 106.9 per cent compared to 2017.
The data also show that the outbound tourism witnessed a slight growth between the period of 2011 and 2018, increasing by 8.7 per cent to reach 6 million tourists in 2018 compared to 3.3 million tourists in 2011 while about 83.8 per cent of outbound tourists in 2018 were Omani nationals, whose number reached 5 million tourists.
About 56.1 per cent of the tourists, equivalent to 3.4 million tourists, spent more than one night at their destinations, compared to 2.6 million who returned on the same day of their arrival.
As much as RO 241.4 million was spent on shopping, or 25.3 per cent of total spending of tourists, while RO 199.8 million was spent on air transport services, or 20.9 per cent, 17.9 per cent spent for food and drinks, and 17.5 per cent of the total spending on accommodation services 2018.
Domestic tourism in Oman contributed to 50.8 per cent of the total tourism expenditure till the end of 2018, reaching RO 699.9 million while the total revenue of the tourism sector in Oman at the end of 2018 reached RO1.4 billion.
Specific tourism services, including shopping, topped the list of activities contributing by 33.9 per cent to local tourism, equivalent to RO 236.9 million while accommodation services contributed by 15.5 per cent to RO108.7 million, followed by travel agencies activities and tourism services by 10.2 per cent to reach RO 71.5 million, and land and air transport services by 9.7 per cent and 7.8 per cent, respectively.
The number of hotels in the Sultanate in 2018 reached 412, including 23 hotels ranked as 5-star hotels, 19 as 4-star hotels, 29 as 3-star hotels, 54 as two-star hotels and 287 other hotel units, including one-star hotels, unrated hotels, rest houses and hotel apartments. The number of hotel work forces reached 18,627 people at the end of 2018.
Hotel business revenue reached RO 259.6 million, with the number of guests reaching 3.6 million, who spent 3.5 million nights while the average room occupancy was recorded at 38.4 per cent. — ONA
Fazah Fort: Situated in the town of Liwa, Wilayat Liwa, Al Batinah Region, Fazah Fort dates back to many centuries and played