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Oman celebrates successful year in tourism in 2016

Oman celebrated an increase in tourism numbers in 2016, with more than 2.5 million people visiting the nation between January and October. According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), more than 1,248,300 visitors originated from other Gulf Cooperation Council States, and a total of 144,000 people arrived via cruise ships.

Oman celebrates successful year in tourism in 2016

The Sultanate of Oman is celebrating a successful year in tourism, after statistics revealed the nation welcomed more than 2.5 million people between January and October, 2016. The numbers were a positive boost from the 2.2 million recorded during the same period in 2015.

Data revealed by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) showed that the nation received more than 1,248,300 from other Gulf Cooperation Council States. The number of visitors from India totalled 244,292, while British travellers reached a total of 133,706, and Germans recording 98,061 arrivals. The report also showed that 144,000 international visitors arrived via cruise ships, with Germans, Britons, Italians, Spanish and Americans among the top five tourists.

Revenues from hotel reached OMR16.7 million in October 2016, which is a 10.5 per cent fall compared to OMR18.7 million recorded in 2015. Hotel occupancy levels were up in three to five-star hotels in Oman in 2016, with more than 141,040 guests recorded compared to 122,186 in October 2015. The majority of hotel guests originated from Europe, with over 61,000 visitors recorded.

New hotels are in the pipeline, including a new mid-scale brand Tin Hotels property that will open in Oman by 2019. The Sheraton Oman in the capital Muscat reopened to guests in October, 2016 following an extensive refurbishment programme. The hotel is the tallest building in the country, with 14 storeys overlooking the city’s Ruwi business district.

The Oman Tourism and Development Company (Omran), are also planning to open three new hotels in Oman by the end of 2018. The government-owned institution announced last year that it will add 900 hotel rooms to the capital Muscat in 2017 and 2018.

The new properties include a five-star W Hotel that will be part of the Royal Opera House’s expansion project in Muscat; a five-star JW Marriott hotel; and a four-star Crowne Plaza property in the Madinat Al Irfan Urban Centre in Muscat. The hotels are all planned to be LEED certified, which stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design.

Oman is a country on the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East that is located east of the United Arab Emirates. The country is home to rich culture and heritage and a long sandy coastline peppered with sweeping sandy plains and soaring sand dunes.

The city of Salalah in the south is home to unusual lush emerald landscapes, banana plantations, Frankincense trees, and the UNESCO-listed Land of Frankincense and its museum where visitors can learn about the production and trade of the ancient oil. In the capital Muscat, holidaymakers can explore 16th-century Portuguese forts, or visit Muscat Gate Museum or the Omani Aquarium.

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