Muscat – Dhofar governorate experienced a significant increase in tourist arrivals during the khareef season of 2023, recording approximately 962,000 visitors. This marks an 18.4% rise from the 813,000 visitors in the 2022 season.
Data from the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) revealed that spending by tourists in Dhofar during the 2023 khareef season escalated to RO103mn, up from RO86mn in the previous year, a jump of 19.7%. Additionally, the duration of stay for visitors extended to 7mn nights, a notable increase from 6mn nights in 2022.
The NCSI data further showed a substantial rise in the number of Omani visitors during this period, with a 69.2% increase to 666,307. The region also welcomed 190,853 visitors from other GCC states, a considerable growth compared to 107,804 during the same period in 2022.
Expenditure on housing witnessed a 19.4% increase, totaling RO33.68 mn and accounting for 32.2% of the total tourist spending. Food and drink expenses followed, amounting to RO25.598mn, which comprised 24.9% of the overall expenditure. Travel ticket expenses represented 18.8% of the total, reaching RO19.268mn. Spending on other miscellaneous items amounted to RO24.693mn.
Omanis contributed the most to the tourist expenditure, accounting for 62.4% of the total, which equaled RO64.7mn. Visitors from the GCC countries contributed 22.5% to the total spending, amounting to RO23.8mn. Tourists from the Asian continent spent RO6.316mn, while those from other Arab countries and different parts of the world spent RO5.7mn and RO3.4mn, respectively.
This surge in tourist numbers and spending highlights Dhofar’s growing appeal as a must-visit destination, reflecting positively on the governorate’s tourism sector and economic growth.
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