By Sam Bridge
Ministry of Tourism has revealed 43.6% growth in cruise ship tourists in 2019 to reach 283,488 passengers
Oman’s Ministry of Tourism has revealed that the sultanate posted 43.6 percent growth in cruise ship tourists in 2019 to reach 283,488 passengers.
The ministry attributed the surge to the government’s initiatives, including infrastructural developments and the ongoing and reinforced tourism campaigns that focus on Oman’s culture, heritage, diverse adventures, and popular attractions.
The Ministry said a total of 284 cruise ships are scheduled to anchor at the sultanate’s three main ports in season 2019/2020 - Sultan Qaboos Port (162 cruise ships); Port of Khasab (75 cruise ships); and Port of Salalah (47 cruise ships).
The highest arrivals are expected during the winter season that begins in October and ends in April.
The ministry said it has been collaborating with relevant government and private sector entities and ship owners and operators to enhance cruise tourism in Oman as well as help develop the capability and efficiency of local ports to handle giant cruise ships.
Abdullah Saif Al Saadi, head of cruise and charter flights, Ministry of Tourism, said: “We aim to attract international cruise ships as part of our overall travel and tourism campaigns. To achieve this, we have been improving our ports, implementing the best practices and international standards, and enhancing our facilities.
"We are also planning to invest in the facilities of Sultan Qaboos Port to entice more cruise ships to make a stopover in Oman... We are happy that our efforts have already been paying off as evident in the rising number of cruise ship tourists who are coming into our shores.”
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By the end of 2019, Oman welcomed 283,844 cruise tourists, with that number expected to reach 300,000 in 2020, he added.