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Published on : Tuesday, November 29, 2016
More than 32,000 tourists have visited Oman last week through three border points as revealed by their Ministry of Tourism. In one of its tweets, the Ministry revealed that 11,863 tourists entered Oman through Hafeet border, 12,427 through Jizzi border and 8,300 through Saa’ border.
According to government data, arrival numbers have increased by an average of 7.4 per cent per year over the past decade, rising from 1.1m in 2005 to nearly 2.1m last year. This also marked a rise in the arrival numbers by an average of 7.4 per cent per year over the past decade, rising from 1.1m in 2005 to nearly 2.1m last year. More than 70 per cent of visitors has stayed overnight in 2014 which is also an uprising trend from five nights in 2005 to 7.4 in last year.
In 2015 alone, the average visit duration increased by 0.5 nights, contributing to a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in inbound tourist expenditure.
Although inbound visitor numbers saw a rise in the trend, the travellers’ motivations for visiting Oman have remained relatively static over the last five years. Leisure and recreation marks a major section for the travellers, about one-third of the bunch and about 39 per cent travel to visit friends or relatives. The other chunks of travellers are largely comprised of business travellers.
Although increasing arrivals from Asia and Europe have contributed to sector growth over the last decade, inbound visitors from other GCC countries continue to dominate, hitting a record 961,306 last year. When combined with the 129,869 visitors from other Arab states, this represents well over 50% of all arrivals in 2014.
The tourism industry accounts for 2.2 per cent of Oman’s GDP as revealed by the NCSI figures. As per the latest reports, domestic travel earnings topped OMR970m ($2.5bn), up three-fold over the period.