CRUISE TOURISM BOOSTS OMAN’S REVENUE: MINISTRY

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Statistics from the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) show that cruise tourism is significantly boosting the country’s revenue, sustaining the tourism industry and its allied businesses.

According to MoT, each cruise ship pays more than RO2,000 for the tourist services provided to it. Each vessel pays RO753 as port fee, while each passenger pays RO6.

Oman continues to see growth in the sector with a significant increase in the number of port calls by cruise liners at the three ports in the sultanate.

According to data by the ministry, a total of 298 cruise ships visited Port Sultan Qaboos, Port of Salalah and Port of Khasab during the 2018-19 tourism season. The ministry confirmed that the cruise ships have brought many benefits to the tourism sector in Oman.

The ministry expects that the number of cruise ships visiting the sultanate would reach 360 during the 2019-20 season. The number of tourists who came on board cruise ships in 2018 stood at 193,467. An official source at the ministry said that the cruise ships stopped at three ports for a day or two. He pointed out that the amount of cruise tourism spending per day is about RO35, while the capacity of the ports to host tourists varies from 400 to 600 per day.

He also elaborated on the sectors benefitting from the visit of cruise ships, “There are many sectors benefitting from visiting cruise ships such as, markets, museums, tour operators and taxi drivers. There are also indirect benefits of promoting the sultanate among the countries of the world.” The period between October and April is the time when the movement of cruise ships increases.

The number of cruise ships that visited tourist ports of Oman during the 2017-18 stood at 192, of which 112 docked at Port Sultan Qaboos, 36 at Port of Khasab and 44 at Port of Salalah.

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