Tourism in the Sultanate of Oman is expected to witness a strong recovery in 2022 following normalisation of international travel.

While revising Oman’s growth forecast following “higher-than-expected hydrocarbon production and stronger non-hydrocarbon exports growth”, Fitch Solutions said that the country is also set to benefit from a strong recovery in tourism activity.

Highlighting several factors, the global country risk and research firm said, “We expect the normalisation of international travel will drive a rebound in tourism in Oman”.

Indeed, non-Omani hotel guests saw a surge of 137.6 per cent year on year in the first four months of 2022. The number of hotel guests recorded an increase by 34.7 per cent to reach 511,429 and the occupancy rate increased to 14.5 per cent in April alone.

“We expect this momentum will continue throughout 2022, with Oman set to benefit from Qatar hosting the World Cup”, the global agency said in its report on June 20.

The Fifa World Cup in Qatar is a great opportunity for Oman to boost tourism. Oman Air is set to operate shuttle flights between Qatar and Oman, making it more accessible for foreign fans to also visit Oman when the World Cup is hosted.

Muscat is among the cities in the region that will host the audience and visitors of the World Cup in Qatar 2022 because of its multiple tourism components represented in ancient markets, and historical and archaeological monuments.

The number of international flights to and from Oman went up to 10,672 by the end of March 2022, a growth of 81.9 per cent over the same period in 2021. The total number of passengers including arrivals, departures and transit also saw a record growth of 89 per cent to 1.74 million passengers till March 2022.

Salalah Airport recorded a remarkable increase in the number of flights by 52 per cent, bringing the number of incoming and outgoing international flights through the airport to 724 by the end of March 2022, an increase of 138.2 per cent, and the number of domestic flights through Salalah Airport increased by 18.2 per cent to 915 flights, compared to 774 flight during the same period in 2021.

The number of international flights from Sohar Airport reached 248 by the end of March 2022, as the number of international flights reached 21,532 passengers.

As for Duqm Airport, it recorded a 12.8 per cent increase in the number of domestic flights to 176 flights at the end of March 2022.

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