Muscat: Occupancy of four and five-star hotels in the country increased significantly during the first half of 2014 compared to the figures for the same period last year, the latest data released by the National Centre of Statistics and Information (NCSI) says.
Check out (4-5 stars) hotels photo gallery at http://www.timesofoman.com/Snapshot
According to the recent data, by the end of June this year, the total number of guests in four and five-star hotels were 368,746. Meanwhile, in 2013 during the same period, the number of guests was 305,573.
While the occupancy rate by June-end was 64.6 per cent, it was 61.3 per cent during the same period last year.
The data also reveals that Europeans topped the list in numbers with 132,898 guests and Omanis came second with 106,791. People from other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries came third with 43,774 guests occupying four and five-star hotels.
The Sultanate is in a phase where it is rapidly developing its tourism infrastructure across the country, having approved 54 hotels with 2,908 rooms.
According to an annual report released by the ministry, 24 new hotel facilities were opened in 2013, taking the total number of such services in Oman to 282. This is an increase of 9.3 per cent over 2012.
During the Eid holidays, the hoteliers in Muscat and Salalah were in an upbeat mood as the increased number of tourists during the Eid Al Fitr holidays translated into more revenue.
"During the actual Eid days from July 29 to August 1, all our three hotels were fully booked. During the Eid break, the resort was very busy, and on the Eid day, the resort was fully booked," an official of the Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, said.
Meanwhile, according to a World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to Oman's GDP in 2013 was OMR982.8m (three per cent of GDP). This is forecast to rise by 10.2 per cent to OMR1,082.7m in 2014.
"We were delighted that so many guests chose to celebrate Eid Al Fitr with us at Millennium Resort Musannah and experience the ever-growing variety of relaxing and recreational activities that we offer for the whole family," Maurice De Rooij, general manager of the Millennium Resort Musannah, said.
Meanwhile, hoteliers in Salalah are doing well as the cool climes are continuing to draw more tourists to the greenest location of the Sultanate. "So far, we are seeing around 90 per cent occupancy. We are hopeful that it grows," Manuel Levonian, general manager of Crowne Plaza Resort in Salalah, told the Times of Oman.
According to the NCSI, the number of visitors to Salalah during the Khareef season grew by 170 per cent, standing at 203,171 between June 21, 2014 through August 6, 2014, compared to 75,262 visitors during the same period last year.
To get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org