The total spend of visitors to the Sultanate during 2015-2019 soared to RO 684.7 million in 2019, up RO 364.8 million in 2015, representing an annual average increase of 17 per cent.
The average spend per visitor increased 9 per cent to RO 195.3 in 2019, up from RO 138.5 in 2015, the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCS) said in a new report.
According to the report, the number of visitors to the Sultanate surged to 3.5 million in 2019, up from around 2.6 million visitors in 2015, representing a growth of 7.4 per cent annually.
The number of visitors coming to the Sultanate reached 3.5 million during 2019, up by 8.2 per cent compared to 2018. GCC nationals ranked first with 40.3 per cent, reaching 1.4 million of the total number of visitors.
Visitors came from Asian countries with 24.8 per cent followed by European visitors with 20.7 per cent.
“If the government wants to attract visitors to the Sultanate at higher rates, it should make more efforts to upgrade the tourism sector and continue to develop its infrastructure as a promising and reliable source of income in the gross national product, in addition to targeting new markets and marketing the Sultanate as a safe and diversified tourist destination, the Centre’s latest tourism bulletin stated.
Entertainment was the principal attraction with 46.4 per cent of the total number of visitors arriving for this purpose, representing about 1.6 million of the total, followed by family and social visits (30.5 per cent), and business (11.7 per cent).
Tourists staying for more than one night accounted for 71.3 per cent of the total (2.5 million).
The number of tourists who preferred hotels and hotel apartments for their stay during their visit to the Sultanate reached 1.6 million tourists, constituting 64.8 per cent of the total, followed by tourists who preferred to stay with friends and family (20.5 per cent).
Males accounted for 63.5 per cent (2.2 million) of the total, while females made up the rest (1.3 million).
Tourists spent 32.4 per cent of their total spend on air transport in 2019, generating RO 221.8 million for airlines and related services, compared to RO 202 million in 2018, an increase of 9.8 per cent. Accommodation accounted for 30.1 per cent of the total spend, followed by food and beverages (13.5 per cent) and shopping (7.9 per cent).
Tourists generated 19.9 million nights in 2019, representing an average of 8 nights per tourist.
Visitors from the GCC accounted for 40.8 per cent of the total (8.1 million nights), followed by Europeans (6.4 million nights), Asian countries (12.5 per cent), Arab countries (7.9 per cent) and others (6.7 per cent).
Fazah Fort: Situated in the town of Liwa, Wilayat Liwa, Al Batinah Region, Fazah Fort dates back to many centuries and played