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Diversification of the economy and a young population will be among the key drivers of growth in Oman’s travel sector, where today, nearly 26% of the population is under 15. As this population becomes tomorrow’s decision makers, traditional travel behaviour will undergo a transformation and become increasingly personalised through mobile technologies and social media.
GCC countries are enhancing their destination offerings and positioning the tourism sector as a key contributor to regional economies. Massive investments in infrastructure and destination attractions such as sports, medical and cruise tourism on a global level, are driving the region’s specialty tourism sectors.
Oman, along with the UAE and Qatar, are leading the race in boosting the hospitality sector ahead of planned mega sporting events. A combination of factors, supported by governmental initiatives to ease intra and extra-regional movement, will have a positive impact on Oman’s travel sector, making it a more attractive proposition for leisure and business travellers.
Oman Tourism has joined hands with the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and Dubai’s Department of Tourism to peg the Arabian Peninsula as an emerging cruise destination for the world, with Mina Qaboos already being developed into a dedicated cruise port as part of the government’s 2020 vision. The region is expecting 1.6 million cruise tourists by the year 2020 and 2.1 million by 2030.
Additional demographic factors such as a steady inflow of expatriate workers, robust natural population growth and a growing middle class will combine to drive a new and divergent set of travel behaviours and needs in the region. Other factors driving growth, include the unified visa system that has been implemented for tourists between Oman, the UAE and Qatar.
I invite you to download a copy of the report for more insights on this rapidly growing region. And to let us know what you think about some of the findings.