Published on : Saturday, March 14, 2020
To combat the corona virus, Oman has suspended tourist visas for all countries starting from March 15 this year. “The tourism industry in Oman is affected and we can see a decrease in occupancy rates, some hotel used to charge 300 OMR per night, they are now available for 90 OMR,” said tourism expert Badar Al Dhuhli.
The economic blow due to the corona virus outbreak on Oman’s tourism industry is yet to be assessed. Globally, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said that a drop-off in travel demand could cost passenger airlines US $113 billion in revenue this year.
Oman’s Ministry of Health reported two more cases of corona virus on March 9, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the country to 18, and all of them are related to travel to Iran and Italy.
The Sultanate’s flag carrier has suspended all flights to and from Milan until further notice and the Royal Opera House Muscat – a popular destination among international tourists has also canceled all concerts for the months of March and April.
Gatherings, events and international conferences which host international participants have also been suspended.
“Cruise ships occupancy rate have been badly affected too. I went to the Grand Mosque and though a cruise ship is in town, the number of visitors did not represent it,” Al Dhuhli said.
Furthermore, Princess Cruises, the operator of two corona virus-stricken ships, said that it would postpone global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months.