Tourism arrivals to Oman will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1 percent between 2018 and 2021, according to data released by Colliers, ahead of the Arabian Travel Market 2018 (ATM), which will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25.
The data predicts the rise will be fuelled by visitors from across the GCC, who accounted for 48 percent of guests in 2017. In addition, arrivals from India (10 percent), Germany (six percent), the UK (five percent) and the Philippines (three percent) are also expected to contribute heavily to the growth, supported by new visa processes and improved flight connections.
Historically, the Middle East has been the largest source market for Oman, with arrivals from this group increasing at an annual rate of 20 percent between 2012 and 2017.
Accommodating the predicted influx, a number of major hotel chains have recently announced properties in Muscat, driving the 12 percent CAGR over the next three years; from 10,924 rooms in 2017 to 16,866 keys in 2021.
These include Muscat’s first Novotel; a four-star, 300-room Crowne Plaza; and the 304-room JW Marriott, all located near the Oman Exhibition & Convention Centre. Additionally Starwood is developing a five-star W Hotel, as part of ongoing work at Muscat’s 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.
Leading domestic investment, Oman Hotels and Tourism has committed to building 10 hotels across the country with a projected value of USD 260 million by 2021.
Supply in Muscat is dominated by five-star properties, accounting for 21 percent, and four-star, accounting for 24 percent.
Complementing its hotel pipeline, Oman has made significant investments in other tourism infrastructure, including airports. Expansions at Muscat and Salalah International Airports pushed passenger figures to 12 million and 1.2 million in 2016, an increase of 16.6 percent and 17 percent respectively and YoY growth to 2017 reached 18 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Further developments at three strategic, regional airports are also ongoing.
Looking ahead to ATM 2018, exhibitors from Oman include Hormuz Grand by Radisson Collection, Oman, Park Inn by Radisson Hotel & Residence, Duqm, Oman Ministry of Tourism and Oman Air.