75pc Omanis travel abroad for vacation
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.