The Sultanate of Oman has recorded a 12.37 per cent growth in Indian tourist arrivals with 357,147 travellers visiting the country from January to December 2018 vis-à-vis 317,844 in 2017 making India the second highest source market for Oman. This marks a remarkable growth of 39.4 per cent over the last five years, as per the statistics released by Oman’s National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
“We have been observing a steady year-on-year increase in tourist arrivals to Oman from India and are extremely pleased with the consistent growth. India has been an important market for us and we are delighted to say that it has been one of the best performing countries, reaching the status of second highest source market after GCC. Several initiatives have contributed to this success, such as launch of the Electronic visa, direct flight connectivity from various cities in India and opening of the new passenger terminal at Muscat International Airport, among others. With growing number of travellers each year, we are expecting double digit growth in 2019 as well,” Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman said.
The Oman Tourism Strategy, developed by the Ministry of Tourism (MOT), foresees at least 11.7mn international and domestic tourists by 2040, triggered by domestic and international investments into the sector of around OMR 20 billion over the period. “As part of the its 2040 strategy, the Ministry of Tourism is undertaking major steps to develop and promote a series of destinations across Oman, offering visitors a broader variety of distinctive experiences, with the goal of encouraging extended visits and greater engagement with the country’s culture and natural sites,” Sheerazi added.
Oman is not only seeing a surge in MICE travel but also a preferred wedding destination for many. Oman Air is connected via direct flights with major Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Lucknow, Kozhikode, Kochi, Goa, Jaipur and Thiruvananthapuram. Besides, Air India, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and IndiGo are also well connected to Oman from various cities of India.