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Wed 23 Jan 2019 02:23 PM

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Oman tourists fall 2.8% in 2018 despite rise in hotel revenues

Total number of guests in Omani hotels declined to 1.35 million in the first 11 months of 2018

Oman tourists fall 2.8% in 2018 despite rise in hotel revenues

7. Muscat, Oman

Surrounded by brown and burnt orange mountains, Muscat is an impressive place to watch the sunset. As Oman’s capital city you’ll find plenty of history blended with modern living. The beautiful coastline is scattered with five-star hotels, with fancy restaurants nearby. It’s also a great place for shopping, but if glitz and glam isn’t your thing, you can check out the cultural sites. Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace is a must-see - even though visitors aren’t allowed inside, it’s a great photo opportunity.  Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world and is open to non-Muslim visitors. There are also plenty of museums that give a snapshot of Oman’s history.

Flight time: 1.10 hrs

​Price: From AED723 with Swiss International Air Lines*

The total number of guests in Omani hotels declined by 2.8 percent to 1.35 million in the first 11 months of 2018 compared to the year-earlier period.

The fall in visitors came despite upscale hotels reporting positive spikes in revenues for the period, recording a total revenue of OR188.7 million ($488.9 million), up 8.5 percent, according to figures released by Oman's National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

The data also showed that hotel occupancy rates increased by 0.9 percent to 57 percent from January-November 2018.

Europeans topped the list of visitors to the sultanate with 476,875 - a decline of 7.8 percent over the same period of 2017.

This was followed by Omani guests (369,373 - down 3.5 percent), and 180,840 tourists from GCC countries, also down 8.8 percent compared to last year.

African, Asian, Oceanian and American visitors all rose by  15.8 percent, 17.3 percent, 3.3 percent and 0.8 percent respectively during the 11-month period, the data also showed.

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