Muscat – The number of guests in three to five-star hotels in Oman increased by 19.4 per cent to 871,578 at the end of June 2019 from 730,145 guests a year ago. The biggest increase has been in the number of tourists from Europe, which went up to 343,159 from 285,955 during the same period. The number of Asian guests in these hotels also increased by 17.9 per cent to 105,125 from 89,153 a year ago in 2018. The number of Omani guests too increased by 25.1 per cent to 238,048 at the end of June from 185,788 during the same period a year ago. There has been an increase of 9.9 per cent in the revenues of hotels during the same period.
It may be noted there has been an important change in the pattern of visas issued by the competent authorities in Oman over the past few years, largely due to policy changes. According to statistics from the National Centre for Statistics and Information, the number of visit and tourist visas issued has been increasing compared to the decline in the employment visas issued during the same period. The number of visiting visas issued in 2018 increased to 804,085 from 455,853 in 2017 and 419,635 in 2016.