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Oman records 300% surge in Russian tourists

Visitors at the Bimmah Sinkhole in Oman. The number of Russian tourists reached more than 53,000 last year Unsplash/Katerina Kerdi
Visitors at the Bimmah Sinkhole in Oman. The number of Russian tourists reached more than 53,000 last year

The number of Russian tourists visiting Oman jumped 300 percent year on year in 2023, a senior government official has said.

Russian tourists reached 53,145 last year, compared with 13,000 in 2022, said Azzan Al Busaidi, undersecretary of tourism in the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism.

“Oman is a multi-seasonal destination famous for its natural beauty and cultural heritage. The current focus is on attracting more travellers to experience the luxurious and diverse hospitality in the sultanate,” he said.

Last week, the government held promotional workshops in Moscow and St Petersburg to target more Russians in the coming years.

Oman needs to be “faster” to react to regional tourism opportunities and market itself more effectively to attract more visitors to the country, the sultanate’s industry leaders told AGBI this month, with business events, or “meeting, incentives, conferences and exhibitions” (MICE), a particular focus.

“For every tourist that spends $1 in Oman, a MICE tourist will spend $2.70,” said Said Al Shanfari, CEO of Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Last month Naif Al Abri, chairman of Oman’s Civil Aviation Authority, said that six new airports are expected to be operational by 2028 and 2029, as part of the government’s initiative to promote tourism.

The sultanate also plans to launch a new low-cost airline amid a global tourism rebound and the continued expansion of the Gulf state’s aviation sector.

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