Oman tourism poised for 8pc growth
Muscat, November 21, 2013
Oman’s tourism industry is poised for an annual growth rate of between 6 and 8 per cent until 2017, according to experts.
Experts gathered at the regional briefing on Oman organised by the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference highlighted a serious commitment from the government and private investors to develop the sultanate as a vibrant tourism destination.
“Oman continues to develop as a tourist destination by investing in large scale projects- primarily in Muscat- which contribute to building the Oman Brand'," said.
Filippo Sona, director and head of hotels in Mena for Colliers International, citing a study published by his company titled ‘Oman, Muscat: Economy Hotel – Market Gap.'
“The majority of economy hotels in Oman are either locally branded or unbranded, many of which are not purpose built and of a limited size. Due to the fragmented nature of the market, hotel apartments and guest houses tend to compete with the economy hotel market, as there is a lack of differentiation between the two products from a consumer standpoint,” said Sona.
The forthcoming supply of hotels across Oman only consist of four-star and five-star properties which will only serve to further widen the existing gap in the market for branded economy hotels, he said.
Based on the Colliers Econometric Model for the period 2013-2017, the Muscat market could potentially absorb an additional 985 economy hotel rooms over and above forthcoming supply.
Philip Wooller, area director for the Middle East and Africa of STR Global presented a look at hotel performance indicators and the development pipeline at the conference, highlighting planned global and regional developments and then zoned in on Oman.
“The charm of the Sultanate is undeniable – its people, rich history and culture, nature and activities all combine to offer a wonderful leisure experience. The Omani government forges ahead with the vision for 2020 with considerable inward investment and with the new airport in Muscat due to open in late 2014 demand for hotel rooms in likely to grow dramatically. In 2013 demand continues to outstrip the new supply which is an encouraging indicator – demand is up for hotel rooms by 23.3 per cent while supply is up 9.7 per cent; hotel revenues grew by 27 per cent.”
It was followed by an update on the hotel investment market in Oman by leading executives, who confirmed that as per latest industry figures 6,616 hotel rooms and service apartments are currently in the pipeline for Muscat in the next five years.
There has been a influx of large scale projects such as The Wave, Imagine Project, Muscat Plaza and the Seeb Seafront in Muscat which will act as catalysts to stimulate inbound demand, they said.
AHIC 2014 is planned to take palce at the Madinat Jumeirah from May 4 to 5, to connect business leaders from international and local markets and act as the industry’s annual intelligence update. - TradeArabia News Service
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