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Recent research predicts a strong year for Oman's tourism industry

All signs point to a strong growth for Oman's tourism industry in 2015 and the coming years. Increased capacity with the development of new hotels, increased investment in marketing, improving infrastructure and expanding Oman's ports are all working to make Oman one of the leading holiday destinations in the Middle East and North Africa.

Recent research predicts a strong year for Oman's tourism industry

Colliers International's most recent forecast report for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) predicts a strong year for the hotel industry in Oman.

According to the report, "growing competition from sister markets in Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah is adding pressure on key performance indicators of the Oman hotel industry. However, new tourism anchors will bring in growth in the middle of the year".

Colliers International's report findings of increased growth echo the opinion of Oliver Cornock, Middle East Managing Editor of the Oxford Business Group (OBG). A recent interview with Cornock noted that in addition to 23 new hotels which were developed in 2014, a further 54 new hotels were currently being developed in Oman in 2015.

According to Cornock:

"Oman currently sees 2.1 million tourists a year which is already a massive increase on what it has had historically. But that's pegged for much greater growth".

In addition to a boost in capacity, there has also been investment from the Sultanate aimed at promoting Oman as a leading holiday destination. The government has undertaken work to improve the country's infrastructure and expand its ports as seen with the construction of a new terminal at the Muscat International Airport (MCT).

Hotel firms and the wider tourism industry are already reaping the benefits of the government's increased investment. Occupancy rates in 2014 were up to 60 per cent representing a three per cent year-on-year growth and the revenue of Oman's star hotels grew by 10 per cent in 2014 to OMR 165.9 million.

All factors indicate that Oman is on track to achieve its goal of increasing the tourism industry's contribution to the GDP to three per cent over the course of the next six or seven years.

According to one travel agent speaking to the Times of Oman:

"As the government is focusing more on the tourism industry, we can expect growth. Airport expansions and setting up of new convention centres and branded hotels will bring in positive results".

Some of the luxury hotels currently operating in Oman include the Ritz- Carlton, Six Senses and Shangri La.

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