Oman stand at ATM. Oman stand at ATM.

Tourism arrivals to Oman will increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13% between 2018 and 2021, according to data released ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2018 (ATM), which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25.

The increase in arrivals will be fuelled by visitors from across the GCC, who accounted for 48% of guests in 2017. Furthermore, supported by new visa processes and improved flight connections, arrivals from India (10%), Germany (6%), the UK (5%) and Philippines (3%) are also expected to contribute heavily to the country’s tourism growth, according to the data by Colliers International.

However, Oman’s largest source market has been the Middle East with arrivals increasing at an annual rate of 20% recorded between 2012 and 2017.

ATM senior exhibition director Simon Press said: “The latest data demonstrates the growth in visitors to Oman will continue, supported by strategic investment from the government as it turns to tourism to diversify its income streams. Oman is a fantastic destination with responsible, eco, cultural and heritage attractions, as well as being a key travel hub, with significant opportunity to capitalise on transit itineraries for stopover visitors.”

With number of hotel rooms expected to grow from 10,924 in 2017 to 16,866 keys in 2021, new hotel chains opening in Muscat is expected to drive a 12% CAGR in the next three years according to the data.

New hotel openings include a first Novotel, 300-room Crowne Plaza – a four-star property, and the 304-key JW Marriott, all located near the Oman Exhibition & Convention Centre. Additionally, A five-star W Hotel is being developed by Starwood at the Royal Opera House.

In October 2017, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts strengthened its Oman expansion strategy with the announcement of a third property in Muscat, the 370-key Mövenpick Hotel Muscat Airport. Properties by Kempinski and Anantara are also under development. 

“With strong existing demand from GCC leisure and business travellers, Oman is preparing for even more 4- and 5-star guests over the coming years as work completes on the Oman Exhibition and Convention Centre and Muscat Opera. Occupancy could rise by as much as 5% in 2018, so Oman really is one to watch,” Press commented.

Besides a growing hotel pipeline, Oman’s investments in other tourism infrastructure such as airport expansion in Muscat and Salalah has pushed passenger figures to 12 million and 1.2 million in 2016, an increase of 16.6% and 17% respectively and YoY growth to 2017 reached 18% and 24%, respectively.

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