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As companies operating in the hotel and hospitality sector had a tough last year with many hurt by lower average room rates and low occupancy affecting the overall profitability,

many in Oman believe rates are still higher.

The National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) indicators for three to five star hotels for 2018 revealed that the number of guests decreased by 2.1 per cent (from 1,531,351 in 2017 to 1,499,461 in 2018).

Commenting on the Muscat Daily report published on Sunday about hotel sector being hit by low revenues, many think the reason for that is hotels are expensive. “This place is too expensive now that the currencies have dropped in Europe. Rip off prices for food, drinks and room rates and tourists simply go elsewhere,” David posted on Muscat Daily social media pages. While some say Oman is too expensive compared to neighbouring Dubai, others say there are not many places of tourist interest in Oman.

“The average hotel rate in Oman is much more compared to Dubai. Bring down the rates,” Ali posted. Some also blamed poor planning. “Poor planning or failure of the ministry to attract investors to establish tourism projects (other than hotels and resorts),” Ramzi tweeted. Nabeel said there are no attractions in Oman. “Because there are no attractions in Oman that can attract tourist. Not even a single theme park,” he commented.

However, some market players say substantial increase in hotel inventory in Muscat has led to a considerable pressure on the rates and as a result the overall average room rates have dropped, which in turn also affected the overall profitability.

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