The number of visitors to Salalah during the tourist season 2018 reached 826,376, recording a rise of 28.1% over the number of visitors of the season in 2017, when it was 644,931 visitors, while the expenditure of visitors increased by 14.5% to OMR75 million compared to OMR66 million in 2017, according to a statistical bulletin on Salalah tourist season 2018 issued recently by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
NCSI revealed that about 94.4% of tourists visited Salalah for recreational and entertainment purposes, with their tourism expenditures reaching OMR71 million, while the business tourism of the same period of 2018 accounted for 3% of total expenditures of the tourists, although the per capita expenditure during this season declined to OMR92 compared to OMR103 in 2017. Statistics indicates that the expenditure of the citizens of Qatar who visited Salalah was considered the highest compared to other nationalities, with the average per capita expenditure of a Qatari visitor reaching OMR268. The average expenditure of Asian visitors was the lowest, at about OMR72 per capita. Housing expenditure accounted for 31% of total tourism expenditure, while spending on shopping, transportation, and entertainment was 24.6% of the tourist expenditures, and spending on food and drink reached 25.3% of the tourist expenditure. NCSI statistics shows that about 70% of the visitors preferred to live in apartments and furnished houses, with the expenditure on this type of housing exceeding OMR51 million, which is 68% of total expenditure. Hotel revenues recorded the highest in July, reaching OMR4.3 million.
As per the NCSI data, the total cash withdrawals from ATM machines in the Governorate of Dhofar during the tourism season of 2018 increased by 10.7% in July to reach OMR98 million compared to OMR88 million in June. The total cash withdrawals from ATM in August 2018 increased by 7.6% to OMR105 million. The number of withdrawals during the period from June to September 2018 reached OMR4 million. Furthermore, the number of nights spent by the visitors during the Salalah season of 2018 was 6.1 million nights compared to 4.3 million nights during the tourism season of 2017, recording a percentage of growth of 40%. Statistics show that Omani visitors spent 72% of total nights spent by visitors, compared to 78% during the season of 2017, with a growth rate of 30%. Based on the results of the census, the number of Omani visitors to Salalah tourist season 2018 was 594,927, comprising 72% of the total tourists, while GCC visitors comprised 19% of the tourists, with their total number at 153,588.
The number of tourists from other Arab countries was 22,306, which is about 2.7%, and Asian nationalities was 48,907, which is 5.9%, while those from the European countries reached 4,293, which is 0.5%. The number of tourists from other countries was 2,355, at 0.3%.
The number of tourists who reached Salalah by land was 656,853, whereas the number of those who reached Salalah by air reached 169,523 visitors. The number of visitors through land ports contributed to an increase in the demand for fuel from petrol pumps, which reached 225,963 liters for about 98 vehicles. During the period from May to October 2018, the number of domestic calls reached 34.4 million, and the number of calls received was 11.8 million. The number of international calls reached 2.5 million calls, the number of calls received was 314,000, and the number of text messages sent was 15.54 million. The number of applications for telecommunication services by Omanis during the same season reached 24,000 applications, and the non-Omani applications were 165,000 applications. The total mobile phones (with roaming services) during Salalah tourism season reached 102,000. The electronic issue of this bulletin can be easily accessed through the website of National Center for Statistics and Information: www.ncsi.gov.om