Inbound arrivals returned to growth in 2019 after the marginal decline in 2018, with domestic tourism flows recording more modest growth. All of this in turn supported retail value sales of airlines and lodging.
As was the case in many countries, online travel intermediaries began their operations by offering flights and accommodation at value prices. This was a successful approach, and was particularly attractive to internet-savvy millennials who were comfortable in sourcing their other requirements and services from other sources.
With Muscat airport’s new terminal inaugurated in March 2018, Oman’s ability to accept inbound arrivals has been massively improved. In addition, the new international airport at Salalah was also completed at the end of 2018, while numerous other smaller airports are currently under construction or being refurbished.
The supply of hotels in Oman continues to increase and new lodging outlets include those operated by famous international and regional chains as well as the leading local operators. Despite strong recent development, there remains considerable room for further development in the category and growth in the supply of hotels during the forecast period is highly likely.
The Omani government and stakeholders are investing heavily in travel and tourism in an effort to diversify from its reliance on oil. In addition, Oman’s birth rate remains relatively high and its native population is among the youngest in the Middle East, with around half of the total population aged below the age of 25 at the end of the review period.
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