Published 27 Jun,2020 via Muscat Daily - With the winter tourist season wiped out due to the spread of COVID-19, the hospitality sector has incurred huge losses. Not only was there a massive drop (41.2%) in hotel guests in the first quarter of 2020, the three to four star hotels also saw their revenues fall by over RO40mn.
According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information's main indicators for hotels with a rating of three to five stars, revenues from hotels in the sultanate by the end of April reached RO55,187,000, compared to RO95,484,000 at the end of April 2019, a drop of 42 per cent. The occupancy rate was 42.5 per cent till April. The total number of guests was 401,477, a decrease of 41.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2019 when the number of guests was 683,166.
Statistics showed that guests from Europe (157,733) formed the bulk of hotel customers by April, followed by Omani guests (124,378) Asians (37,862) Gulfs citizens (32,536) the Americas (14,298), Arab citizens other than GCC (13,529), Oceanians (4,535), Africans (2,801) and 13,805 guests of other nationalities.
The Ministry of Tourism has taken note of the problems facing tourism, especially the hospitality sector and held a meeting on Thursday on the readiness of hotel establishments to receive tourists soon and the precautionary measures regulating the sector.
The meeting was chaired by H E Ahmed bin Nasser al Mahrizi, Minister of Tourism, in the presence of a number of owners of hotel establishments, boards chairmen of hotel companies and Qais bin Mohammed al Yousef, chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI).
The meeting put forward many proposals and visions that will minimise the economic losses in the hotel sector.
The proposals in the meeting focused on restructuring loans for investors in the hotel sector, financing policies and encouraging banks to invest in the tourism sector, in addition to providing a package of exemptions. The participants stressed the importance of paying attention to this sector and supporting it in various ways.
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