Report: International arrivals in Oman grew by 11.2% from 2017-2018

Rise in ‘visiting friends and relatives’ (VFR) travel has been cited as boosting the Sultanate’s tourism industry

The data analyst concludes with saying authorities should consider working on more long haul flights across Europe
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The data analyst concludes with saying authorities should consider working on more long haul flights across Europe

Oman continues to grow in popularity, with an increase of 11.2% in international arrivals between 2017 and 2018.

The rise in ‘visiting friends and relatives’ (VFR) travel has been cited as boosting the Sultanate’s tourism industry said GlobalData.

In its latest report, it revealed VFR and leisure travel are set to both rise by 8.8% between 2018 and 2022.

Oman’s major source markets right now are the UAE and India, making up close to 20% of the country’s international arrivals figures. This, GlobalData explained, is due to the continued rise of VFR travel with people travelling between nearby countries.

GlobalData, travel and tourism analyst, Johanna Bonhill-Smith said: “VFR has and will continue to take up a large amount of the inbound traveller market into Oman. However, since 2017, inbound leisure travellers are increasing at a similar rate.”

Beyond the rise of VFR travel, Oman’s expansion in its aviation industry is helping its arrivals numbers. By the end of 2019, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicted that Omani aviation will have grown by 40%. Thanks in part to the country developing both a new terminal at its international airport and a new domestic terminal at Duqm.

Other factors contributing to Oman’s improvement is the emergence of new source markets in Europe. The UK, Germany, France and Italy all made it into Oman’s top 10 international arrivals in 2018.

A reason for this GlobalData believes is Oman’s relaxation of Islamic rules. Highlighting that: “Islam is still the predominant religion, yet Oman’s Islamic rules tend to be not as strict as other GCC states, which also spurs a steady pace of inbound travellers.”

The data analyst concludes with saying authorities should consider working on more long haul flights across Europe to stimulate the growth of the inbound leisure market.

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