Oman bets on tourism contributing 6% more to GDP
Oman hopes to increase the number of hotel rooms from 16,000 to 20,000 by 2020, according to the Sultanate’s Minister of Tourism.
Ahmad Bin Nasser Al Meherzi announced the approval of the National Strategy for Tourism 2040, which includes a 6 per cent rise in the contribution of the tourism sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) and a target of five million visitors by 2040, nearly double today’s level of 2.6 million visitors.
He explained that the strategy aims to increase the contribution of the private sector in tourism projects to 88 per cent, and government investment, which includes infrastructure projects, at 12 per cent, reported Oman News Agency (ONA).
The minister said in a radio interview that it is hoped to reach the 20,000 hotel-room level in 2020, compared to the existing 16,000 level.
He said the strategy aimed at making Oman one of the most important tourist destinations by 2040.
Al Meherzi said: “Until we get to what we want, we should focus on the appropriate amount of investment, support the growth of small and medium-sized tourism enterprises, and apply a typical global system of social responsibility to attract, offer an extraordinary range of tourist models [and] enhance the quality of services and attract more tourists.”
Of the 2.6 million visitors that arrived in Oman last year, GCC nationals topped the numbers at 1.06 million, while Indians came second at 299,661, followed by the British (150,902), and Germans (106,269), according to the Tourism Report 2015 published by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
More than 5.4 million went abroad as outbound tourists in 2015. Cruise ship visitors to the Sultanate in 2015 topped 148,000, including 40,225 visitors from Germany, 13,849 from Italy, 9,688 from the UK, 8,578 from the Czech Republic, and 8,517 from the British Virgin Islands.