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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 15/04/2014
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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The sultanate is expected to lead the Middle East in terms of growth in the travel and tourism industry and to post one of the strongest growth rates worldwide in the sector in 2014, according to a report released recently by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).


In its annual Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2014 report, WTTC said that the direct contribution of the travel and tourism industry to Oman's  GDP in 2013 was RO982.8mn (three per cent of GDP) and this is forecast to rise by 10.2 per cent to RO1.08bn in 2014.


''This primarily reflects the economic activity generated by industries such as hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services (excluding commuter services). But it also includes, for example, the activities of the restaurant and leisure industries directly supported by tourists in Oman,'' WTTC said.


The average growth in the direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP in the Middle East region is forecast at 5.5 per cent, while the world average growth is expected to be 4.3 per cent in 2014.


WTTC, the authority on world travel and tourism, said that the direct contribution of travel and tourism to Oman's GDP is expected to grow by 5.4 per cent per annum to RO1.83bn (3.9 per cent of GDP) by 2024.


It said that the total contribution of travel and tourism to Oman's GDP is twice as large as its direct contribution. The total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP (including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts) was RO2.08bn (6.4 per cent of GDP) in 2013 and is expected to grow by 9.4 per cent to RO2.27bn in 2014. The total contribution to GDP is forecast to rise by 5.5 per cent per annum to RO3.88bn (8.2 per cent of GDP)  by 2024.
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According to WTTC, the travel and tourism industry in Oman supported 37,000 jobs directly in 2013 and this is forecast to grow by 11.4 per cent in 2014 to 41,000 jobs, again among the strongest growth worldwide and the fastest growth in the Middle East region.


''This includes employment by hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services. It also includes, for example, the activities of the restaurant and leisure industries directly supported by tourists. By 2024, in Oman, travel and tourism will account for 60,000 jobs directly, an increase of 3.9 per cent per annum over the next ten years.''


WTTC further added that the total contribution of travel and tourism to employment (including the wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts) was 72,000 jobs in 2013 and this is forecast to rise by 10.6 per cent in 2014 to 79,500 jobs.


WTTC said that visitor exports - spending within the country by international tourists for both business and leisure trips, including spending on transport - are a key component of the direct contribution of travel and tourism.


''In 2013, Oman generated RO710.5mn in visitor exports. In 2014, this is expected to grow by 9.7 per cent, and the country is expected to attract 1.66mn international tourists. By 2024, international tourist arrivals are forecast to total 2.86mn, generating expenditure of RO1.41bn, an increase of 6.1 per cent per annum over the ten years,'' WTTC said.


The report added that the tourism sector in Oman is expected to have attracted a capital investment of RO254.6mn in 2013 and this is expected to rise by 11.7 per cent in 201

 






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