‘Tourism sector grows 6.8%’
Oman jumped to the eighth position in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2019 released by the World Travel Forum. This is seen as the biggest progress in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The tourism sector is moving swiftly to achieve the ambitious goals of the Oman Tourism Strategy. It is enhancing its role as one of the important pillars of the national economy, as reflected in the international data and reports about the preparation of the tourism infrastructure.
This is being done through optimum utilisation of the rich potential of the Sultanate of Oman and promotion of its tourism products to positively reflect in the form of increased number of tourists coming here and annual growth in the sector.
The value added to the tourism sector witnessed an increase of 6.8 per cent to reach RO789mn at the end of 2018, compared to RO738mn in 2017. The sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached 2.6 per cent.
According to the National Competitiveness Office, this considerable progress and improvement in most of the report's indicators, include environment, policy and conditions for travel and tourism, infrastructure, natural and cultural resources - a reflection of the government’s efforts in the direction.
Oman also jumped 38 positions in the Human Resources and Labor Market Index from 103rd position in 2017 to reach 65th position in 2019. This became possible due to the continuous attention given to human resources, their training and other incentives offered by the Sultanate of Oman. This has brought positive impact on the business environment.
In infrastructure, the sultanate advanced eight positions in the index of air transport infrastructure to occupy the 49th position globally with 3.4 points, reflecting the progress made by the sultanate in the development and modernisation of air transport infrastructure.
The modernisation of the Muscat International Airport and increased destinations of the national carrier and improvement of its services has also helped Oman in this achievement. The country also went up by 13 positions to reach 34th position in the world in the index of the land and port infrastructure.
From the angle of political and other enabling conditions for tourism and travel, the sultanate has progressed in the sub-index of visa requirements by 78 positions to occupy 44th position in the world from 122 in 2017.