Sultanate of Oman: One of top four tourist destinations in GCC
NEW YORK – Oman recorded more than $1 billion from international tourism for the first time in 2012, according to figures released in a new UN report.
‘Tourism Highlights 2013’ has been released by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and shows that tourism revenue reached $1.09bn – 2.3 per cent of all Middle East international tourism.
Oman has surpassed the US$1bn mark in international tourism income for the first time, according to 2012 figures released recently in the report ‘Tourism Highlights 2013’ by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
The top three GCC countries in terms of tourism receipts were the UAE ($10.4bn), Saudi Arabia ($7.43bn) and Qatar ($2.85bn) – Oman came in at number four. Kuwait received $435m, but data
for Bahrain was unavailable in 2012.
“[Techniques vary] from country to country as different methods of governance are used throughout the world, but to compile our reports, we usually gather information from tourism ministries, finance ministries and central banks.
In layman’s terms, international tourism receipts is the income generated by tourism in any particular country,” explains Marcelo Rici, a senior media officer at UNWTO.
The wider Middle East showed mixed results. Egypt saw a sustained rebound (+18 per cent) after a significant decline in 2011. Dubai jumped up by 10 per cent and continues to grow. However, Lebanon has plunged by -18 per cent in terms of visitors year-on-year, feeling the effects of the conflict in Syria.
The UNWTO estimates that Middle East tourism numbers will double by 2030. The new report shows that more than half of all inbound tourists arrive by air (52 per cent). Road links account for 40 per cent of visitors, while water (six per cent) and rail (two per cent) make up the rest.