WTTC predicts that Oman’s travel and tourism sector will experience historic growth

The Economic Impact Study 2024 (EIR) conducted by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) today revealed a promising future for the travel and tourism sector in Oman. With strong government support and strategic initiatives, the sector is poised to not only recover but reach unprecedented levels this year.

According to the latest research by the world tourism body, the travel and tourism sector’s contribution to GDP increased by almost 35% in 2023, reaching a total of OMR 2.8 billion, and is on track to exceed previous records.

This sector has seen a significant job growth of 15% and currently employs 191,500 people across the country.

Last year, foreign visitors pumped OMR 1.1 billion into the economy, a remarkable 69% increase compared to 2022, while spending by domestic travelers rose to OMR 1.4 billion.

Oman as a prime destination

Oman’s status as the top tourist destination in the Middle East is clearer than ever thanks to strategic investment and government support.

These efforts not only revitalize the economy, but also set the stage for further growth in international travel spending and the sector’s overall economic contribution.

Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said; “Oman’s travel and tourism sector is on the cusp of historic recovery in 2024.

“The Government of Oman strongly supports Travel & Tourism and is committed to achieving unprecedented economic growth and job creation.”

added Dr. Hashil Al Mahrouqi, CEO of OMRAN Group; “The significant growth of the travel and tourism industry in Oman demonstrates the solid support of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism and the Oman Investment Authority and their commitment to realizing the industry’s potential through strategic enablers and development across the country.

“As Oman’s leading developer of sustainable tourism destinations and innovative urban communities, we strive to contribute to these promising prospects and remain committed to responsible tourism development and promoting Oman as a premier travel destination through our ‘Visit Oman’ brand and digital distribution solutions, with the ultimate goal is to support the socio-economic development of Oman.”

What is this year looking like?

The global tourism body forecasts that the sector’s contribution to GDP in 2024 will grow to over OMR 3.3 billion, representing 7.6% of the country’s economy, and is expected to employ over 206,000 people across the country, with one in fourteen people will work in the sector.

Domestic tourist spending is expected to continue to grow and reach OMR 1.5 billion, surpassing 2019 levels by just over 8%. While spending on international tourists is still forecast to be below 2019 levels at OMR 142.3 million, it is expected to continue to grow through 2024.

What will the next decade look like?

The global tourism body forecasts that the sector’s annual contribution to GDP will be OMR 5.4 billion by 2034, representing 9.8% of Oman’s economy, and is expected to employ over 265,600 people across the country, with every 13 the resident works in this sector.

Through the Middle East

The Middle East travel and tourism sector grew by more than 25% in 2023, reaching almost $460 billion. The number of jobs reached almost 7.75 million, and international spending increased by 50%, reaching $179.8 billion. Domestic tourist spending increased 16.5%, reaching over $205 billion.

WTTC forecasts that travel and tourism across the region will continue to grow throughout 2024, with a contribution to GDP reaching $507 billion. Jobs are projected to reach 8.3 million, international tourist spending is projected to reach $198 billion, and domestic tourist spending is projected to reach more than $224 billion.