With international visitors to Oman expected to rise by a healthy 14 per cent by the end of 2014, questions are being asked as to whether Oman has enough mid-range hotel rooms to accommodate for the influx.
Oman Air has announced that it aims to increase its fleet to 70 aircraft as part of the airline’s 10-year plan and the number of passengers using Oman Air is forecast to rise to 4.8 million this year, up from 4.7m in the previous year. However, less than 20 per cent of these passengers are flying directly to Oman and Abdulrahman al Busaidy, Oman Air’s chief operating officer, believes this is partly due to the lack of affordable hotel rooms. Although it is expected that thousands of new luxury rooms will be built in the Sultanate over the next few years, experts are unanimous in their call for more three-star hotels.
Philip Wooller, the Middle East and Africa area director for STR Global, which tracks supply and demand data for the global hotel industry, said while Oman was expected to get about 4,000 to 5,000 extra hotel rooms in the coming years, there was not much on offer in the mid-scale segment.