Muscat – The hospitality industry in Muscat is seeing a rebound in 2018 after a downward trend witnessed in the last three years.
Europeans, who form a major source market for tourists in the Sultanate, will continue to provide growth with Oman expecting to see a 41 per cent increase in travellers from the region to reach 2mn in the period from 2018 to 2020.
For the last three years, the hotel industry has been confronted with negative forecasts of ever-declining revenues, leading to a compounded 33 per cent decline in RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room), according to Colliers International, that reports the state of the industry every quarter for MENA region.
For the first three months of 2018, Colliers’ MENA Hotel Forecasts showed a two per cent Year on Year (YoY) increase in RevPAR for the Muscat hotel industry. While it forecast a nine per cent YoY increase in RevPAR for the next three months and a full four percent YoY growth for 2018.
According to Colliers’ report on GCC Source Market, for the next three years, a forecast of 24.6mn EU residents will travel to the GCC. “This indicates a growth of 17 per cent and an additional 4 million European travellers compared to 2015-17,” it stated.
The preferred destinations for European residents will continue to be dominated by the UAE and Saudi Arabia with 81 per cent of European arrivals in GCC. “But the share to the UAE will reduce by six percentage points (pts), while the other GCC countries will improve their share by 1pt to 3pts except for Kuwait with a flat three per cent share. The highest growth will come from Oman with 41 per cent increase in travellers to reach more than 2mn in the period 2018 to 2020.”
According to Colliers’ report on China as the source market for the GCC, 154m Chinese are estimated to travel overseas in 2018. Countries around the world are jostling to get a share of the Chinese travel market and GCC is not far behind.
According to the report, 2.5mn Chinese arrivals are expected to GCC by 2021, an increase of 21 per cent in annual growth. “GCC countries are expected to receive more travellers in the coming years with Chinese tourist arrivals expected to grow annually in the UAE and Saudi Arabia by 20 per cent and 35 per cent respectively, followed by Oman with 12 per cent till 2021.”
The opening of new leisure attractions and business opportunities in the GCC and falling barriers for Chinese travellers to GCC will contribute to this trend, it said. “The introduction of on-arrival visas for Chinese in Oman in May this year, the UAE in November 2016 and Bahrain in 2014 has made travel to these countries hassle-free for Chinese travellers.”