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93% increase in tourists expected during World Cup

15 Nov 2022 By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Data from ForwardKeys, a leading travel and analytics organisation based in Spain, shows that Oman is set to massively benefit during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 with increased number of travellers.

In data released on airline ticket reservations for November and December 2022, ForwardKeys has shown that Oman can expect a year-on-year increase of 93 per cent in international arrivals from the World Cup market – 31 countries drawn in the competition. ‘The sultanate will also see an increase of more than 156 per cent in travellers from the regional markets when compared to the same period last year,’ stated a press release from the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MHT).

In the World Cup period, German travellers to Oman are likely to go up by over 140 per cent compared to the same period in 2021. ‘On average, German tourists will prefer to stay in the sultanate for around a week or eight nights,’ stated MHT.

Arrivals from the Netherlands are likely to go up by 84 per cent, from Switzerland by 60 per cent, the United Kingdom by 55 per cent, and France by 18 per cent.

ForwardKeys’ data also indicated that the number of visitors to Oman from the GCC countries will increase 196 per cent, with the maximum increase (462 per cent) seen in visitors coming from Qatar, followed by Saudi Arabia (272 per cent) and the UAE (162 per cent).

The jump in visitors from Qatar likely means that the fans going to the host nation prefer Oman as a forward destination in their journey after watching the World Cup matches.

Haitham bin Mohammed al Ghassani, Director General of Tourism Promotion, MHT, said, “The latest data shared by ForwardKeys shows the importance of facilities, including air transport, to attract travellers. The sultanate plays an important role in contributing to the growth of tourism in the region, given its well-established roots identifying culture, tradition and heritage that blend with modern experiences. Oman is blessed with natural beauty and is a haven for visitors, making it an ideal place for a couple or a family.”

Olivier Ponti, vice-president of Insights at ForwardKeys, said that this is an exciting opportunity for Oman to engage with highly motivated travellers who are keen to travel in the post-pandemic times and explore the region more. “During the World Cup period, Oman will benefit from travellers visiting multiple destinations within the GCC.”

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