Published on : Thursday, August 31, 2017
The sultanate’s growing popularity has showing a rising popularity amongst the tourists from Germany. The country has leapfrogged the UK and the Philippines to become Oman’s third-largest tourism source market, behind the GCC and India, according to figures from the National Centre for Statistics and Information. The first four months of 2017 saw a rise in the tourists number to about 98,470 in the first four months which was between 42,000 and 45,000 in the same period last year.
With passenger numbers from the country up by almost 14,000 year-on-year, a strong showing in the cruise ship segment has buoyed the increase in visitors from Germany. Tourists entering from any other source to Oman also roughly saw a growth of about 50,000, indicating a growing market for air travel.
The plans for long term growth is one of the major reasons for rapid expansion in the wider tourism industry in recent years.
There are signs the country’s National Tourism Strategy (NTS), launched in June 2016, is beginning to further boost results. The government has pledged to invest OR20bn ($51.9bn) in the industry as part of the initiative, which aims create more than 500,000 jobs.
The strategy’s objectives include targeting 11.7m international and domestic tourists by 2040, with 5m sourced from overseas, although given current growth trajectories, these numbers may prove to be conservative. International visitors totalled 3m in 2016, up from 2.47m the previous year, according to media reports, marking a rise of 21%. Arrivals had already reached 1.3m in the first four months of 2017, putting the country on target to achieve a full-year total of almost 4m.
One of the other contributing factors is Oman’s reputation as a safe destination which makes it a popular choice amongst the European travellers.