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Hotel industry continues to struggle with revenue losses, low occupancy

26 Apr 2021

More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the hotel industry in Oman is continuing to struggle due to low occupancy rates and revenues collapse amid ongoing travel restrictions around the world.

The latest statistics released by the National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI) still paints a gloomy picture for the sultanate’s hotel industry. Total revenues of Omani hotels (within 3 to 5 star categories) fell more than 60 per cent to RO21.27mn in the first quarter of 2021 compared to RO53.75mn recorded in the same period of 2020.

Hotel industry globally has struggled since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic and is still trying to survive with limited international travel and tourism.

Overall occupancy rate in Oman’s 3 to 5 star category hotels dropped to 35.8 per cent during the January–March period of this year compared with 51.5 per cent occupancy recorded in the corresponding period of 2020, the NCSI statistics showed.

Since March of 2020, hotels of all categories have been hit hard by the impact of COVID-19 outbreak and are still battling to stay above water in the pandemic economy.

Total number of guests in Oman’s 3 to 5 star category hotels dropped by more than 23 per cent during the January–March period of this year to 298,885 guests against 390,642 recorded in the same period a year ago.

Hotels are continuing to face a dearth of international guests and tourists amid ongoing travel restrictions within the sultanate and around the world.

Total number of non-Omani guests in 3 to 5 star category hotels plummeted by 67 per cent to 90,481 in the first quarter of 2021 from 278,033 non-Omani guests recorded in the same period of 2020.

Number of guests from GCC countries dropped by 87 per cent to 4,104 this year against 32,076 in the first quarter of 2020, while guests from other Arab countries decreased by 8.7 per cent to 12,423 guests.

European guests in Oman’s hotels were 92 per cent less during the January–March period of this year at 13,257 compared to 156,977 recorded in the same period of 2020. However, there was an increase of 12.6 per cent in the number of Asian guests at 44,506 during the first quarter of 2021 compared with 39,540 in the corresponding period of last year.

The NCSI statistics showed that the domestic or Omani guests, by contrast, seem to have supported the sultanate’s hotels to stay afloat despite restrictions due to the pandemic.

Number of Omani guests in 3 to 5 start category hotels jumped by 85 per cent to 208,404 guests in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 112,609 in the first quarter of last year.

Many hotels, when they were allowed to open in September last year, announced promotional packages and staycationoffers to attract Omani citizens and residents.

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