Skift Take

For its next trick, Oman needs to implement a plan that will bring visitors back to the country after its regional peers get back to normal.

This year, hotels in Muscat have witnessed the strongest growth in revenue per available room (RevPAR), STR Global said in a statement. Regional instability has caused revenues in the Omani capital’s tourism industry to grow by more than 15 per cent in the first four months of 2013, according to data released by STR Global.

“Due to various reasons, tourists do not prefer Egypt and Syria. When compared to these places, Oman is safe and calm. It can be termed a relaxed destination. When compared to other tourist spots in the region, the locations in Oman are still virgin. For a true holiday traveller, there is a lot to explore in Oman and this is the reason for the growth in Oman’s tourism industry,” Malinda Ranasinghe, inbound manager at Mezoon Tours and Travels, told Times of Oman.

STR Global offers monthly, weekly, and daily STAR benchmarking reports to more than 43,000 hotel clients with over 5.7 million rooms worldwide. “Muscat reported the strongest RevPAR year-to-date growth (+15.2 per cent) in the region”, said Elizabeth Winkle, managing director of STR Global. Infrastructure investment “The factors for performance include strong occupancy growth of 14.0 per cent to 77.3 per cent, while an already solid ADR increased 1.1 per cent to $248. Oman has benefitted from tremendous interest from the corporate sector with significant infrastructure investment and projects, such as Duqm Port.

The corporate demand is coupled with strong leisure business, which is up 25.0 per cent,” Elizabeth added. Also, according to data compiled by STR Global, the Middle East and Africa region reported positive performance during April 2013 when reported in US dollars.

The region recorded a 3.4-per cent increase in occupancy to 65.7 per cent, a 0.7-per cent increase in average daily rates to $171.29 and a 4.0-per cent increase in revenue per available room to $112.46. “Beirut has struggled during the first four months of the year with RevPAR declines of (-31.0 per cent)”, Winkle continued. “Lebanon’s tourism industry continues to suffer because of the political instability in Syria and has recently appealed to its Gulf Cooperation Council neighbours to lift the travel advisory to Gulf nationals.”

Meanwhile, occupancy in Manama, Bahrain rose 21.5 per cent to 51.7 per cent, reporting the largest increase in that industry measurement. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates followed with a 20.0 per cent occupancy increase to 70.7 per cent. Cairo, Egypt was up 17.3 per cent to 44.1 per cent, and Amman, Jordan was 16.0 per cent to 66.9 per cent, reporting the only double-digit occupancy decreases. Further, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia was up 12.3 per cent to $232.19, and Amman was 10.8 per cent to $161.40, scoring the largest ADR increases during April.

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