75pc Oma­nis travel abroad for va­ca­tion

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE - SA­MUEL KUTTY MUS­CAT, SEPT 16

Gulf na­tion­als formed a mam­moth 69.1 per cent of the to­tal num­ber of vis­i­tors to the Sul­tanate in July this year. This was fol­lowed by In­dian, Bri­tish and Pak­istani na­tion­al­i­ties who stood at sec­ond, third and fourth po­si­tions with 7.6 per cent, 2.7 per cent and 2.6 per cent, re­spec­tively, dur­ing the pe­riod.

How­ever, data from the Na­tional Statis­tics and In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre shows the to­tal num­ber of vis­i­tors wit­nessed a 7 per cent fall in July at 278,000 from 298,000 in the cor­re­spond­ing month of 2016.

In con­trast, out­bound tourism jumped 37.4 per cent with 569,268 peo­ple vis­it­ing other coun­tries in July this year com­pared with 285,292 in the same month last year.

Of this, Oma­nis formed a mas­sive 75.1 per cent of the to­tal num­ber of out­bound vis­i­tors.

Statis­tics re­veal Oman’s out­bound tourism has been grow­ing at an av­er­age an­nual rate of above 43 per cent. Ac­cord­ing to ex­perts in the tours and travel sec­tor, most out­bound vis­its were mainly for treat­ment. School va­ca­tions also added sig­nif­i­cantly to the in­crease in the num­ber.

“Most Omani em­ploy­ees and ex­pa­tri­ates take leave in the sum­mer months to es­cape the scorch­ing heat. This is also aided by school va­ca­tions,” said Joseph Ro­driguez, a travel ex­pert.

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