Muscat – As many as 6,796 people were guests in green hotels (eco-friendly hotels) and other accommodation facilities in Dhahirah governorate in 2021 from January to September, according to the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism.
“Dhahirah has witnessed the establishment of many tourist and hotel facilities, green hotels and guest houses in three wilayats of the governorate,” said Ali bin Khamis al Sudairi, assistant director of Heritage and Tourism Department.
“The number of licensed tourism hotel establishments in the wilayat of Ibri has grown to four, and there are 13 green hotels spread over Ibri, Yanqul and Dhank.”
Sudairi informed that there is growing interest in starting green hotel projects in the governorate.
The number of hotels in the sultanate grew to 547 in 2020, compared to 492 in 2019 and 412 in 2018.
Among hotel guests – from January to September 2021 – 2,765 were Omanis, 199 from GCC states, 540 from other Arab countries and 3,292 tourists of other nationalities.
According to available statistics, there were 2,348 visitors – domestic and international – to castles and forts in the Dhahirah in 2021.
There were 366,360 visitors to castles and forts in Oman in 2018, and 426,525 in 2019 compared to 133,464 in 2020 – a decrease of 68.6 per cent.
The Ministry of heritage and Tourism also informed that several forts and castles have been restored, while restoration works in architecturally distinguished buildings are currently underway.
The sultanate welcomed 3,506,441 tourists in 2019, which was 8.2 per cent more than the 2018 figure of 3,241,757 and 75.1 per cent less than 2020 – 874,444 tourists.
The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism confirmed that the reason for the drop in tourist numbers was the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world which affected the sector.
There were 193,467 cruise ship visitors in 2018, 383,488 in 2019 and 109,647 in 2020 – a decrease of 71.4 per cent compared to 2019.
The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism is currently working to establish several projects to attract tourists to achieve the strategic goals of Oman Vision 2040.