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Oman Air Refers The Sultanate A Fast Growing Travel & Tourism Economy

Date: 27 May 2008
Usama Bin Karim Al Haremi

Usama Bin Karim Al Haremi, Head of Corporate Communications And Media of Oman Air notified that recently, two important reports were issued discussing important developments within the world tourism, and the status of each nation in this regard. The first was issued by The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), where the second research was conducted by The World Economic Forum (WEF).

According to the latest World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report “THE 2008 TRAVEL & TOURISM ECONOMIC  RESEARCH ON OMAN”, Al Haremi pointed at Oman being a fast growing Travel & Tourism economy as per the report. Travel & Tourism is expected to post OMR 2,496.5 mn (US$ 6,492.8 mn) of economic activity (Total Demand), growing to OMR 3,363.5 mn (US$ 8,747.7 mn) by 2018, The Industry is expected to contribute directly 2.1% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008 (OMR 362.8 mn or US$ 943.7 mn), rising in nominal terms to OMR 617.2 mn or US$ 1,605.3 mn (3.0% of total) by 2018. Oman’s travel and tourism should grow from 9.8% (OMR 1,678.6 mn or US$ 4,365.6 mn) to 11.1% (OMR 2,265.4 mn or US$ 5,891.8 mn) in this same period.

The Travel & Tourism Economy is expected to grow by 5.0% per annum in real terms between 2009 and 2018. Travel &Tourism Economy employment is estimated at 104,000 jobs in 2008, 10.2% of total employment, or 1 in every 9.8 jobs. By 2018, this should total 141,000 jobs, 12.1% of total employment or 1 in every 8.2 jobs. The 30,000 T&T Direct Industry jobs account for 3.0% of total employment in 2007 and are forecast to total 49,000 jobs or 4.2% of the total by 2018.

Exports make up a very important share of Travel & Tourism's contribution to GDP. Of Oman's total exports, Travel & Tourism is expected to generate 13.8% (OMR 1,486.9 mn or US$ 3,867.0 mn) in 2008, increasing to OMR 1,837.8 mn or US$ 4,779.6 mn (16.0% of total), in 2018. Travel & Tourism Capital Investment is estimated at OMR 241.3 mn, US$ 627.7 mn or 6.5% of total investment in year 2008. By 2018, this should reach OMR 438.1 mn, US$ 1,139.4 mn or 9.1% of total. Government Travel & Tourism operating expenditures in Oman in 2008 are expected to total OMR 37.7 mn (US$ 98.0 mn), or 1.2% of total government spending. In 2018, this spending is forecast to total OMR 54.2 mn (US$ 140.9 mn), or a 1.3% share.

Al Haremi stated that as per the report, the Middle East, demand is expected to reach $251.428 billion in 2008 and grow to $456.10 billion in 2018. In 2008, the travel and tourism market will create 238.3 million jobs worldwide, around 8.4 per cent of total employment. In 2018, 296.3 million jobs are expected to be available, around 9.2 per cent of total employment.

Globally he mentioned travel and tourism demand is expected to generate around $7,893 billion of worldwide economic activity in 2008, reaching highs of $14,838 billion by 2018. This year the travel industry is expected to account for 9.9 per cent of global GDP, contributing around $5,890 billion in economic activity. In 2018, this figure is predicted to hit $10,855 billion, according to Tourism Satellite Accounting (TSA), the tourism-measuring tool of the United Nations. Personal travel and tourism tops the table, contributing the largest portion towards travel and tourism demand, generating $3,212 billion. Business travel alone generates $843 billion. In 2008, the travel and tourism market will create 238.3 million jobs worldwide, around 8.4 per cent of total employment. In 2018, 296.3 million jobs are expected to be available, around 9.2 per cent of total employment.

Head of Corporate Communications And Media of Oman Air Usama Bin Karim Al Haremi also informed that Oman has become the newest entrants to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) prepared by The World Economic Forum (WEF), which ranks countries based on 71 criteria and variables. In recognition of the significance of the environment, the 2008 report carried the title of Balancing Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability. The report, which this year was based on the theme ‘balancing economic development and environmental sustainability', placed particular focus on the issue of the environment with a dedicated index component to measure countries. In its Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) Report 2008, the World Economic Forum said the entire Gulf region was less competitive in developing its travel and tourism industries than last year. UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait all declined in their rankings, whilst Oman and Saudi Arabia were new entrants in the survey of 130 countries. The TTCI report measures factors and policies that make it attractive to develop the travel and tourism sector in different countries, based on policy rules and regulations, environmental sustainability, safety and security, health and hygiene, sector prioritisation, price competitiveness, human capital, sector affinity and natural and cultural resources.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Geneva-based foundation whose annual meeting of top business leaders, national political leaders (presidents, prime ministers and others), and selected intellectuals and journalists is usually held in Davos, Switzerland. The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report was first published in 2007 by the World Economic Forum and covered 124 major and emerging economies, where 2008 report covers 130 countries. The index is a measurement of the factors that make it attractive to develop business in the travel and tourism industry of individual countries, rather than a measure of country attractiveness as a tourist destination. Several changes were introduced in the 2008 TTCI in the definition of the variables as compared to the definitions of the 2007 TTCI. First, the “environmental regulation” pillar was improved with help from the IUCN and the UNWTO, and for the 2008 index was re-named the “environmental sustainability” pillar to “better reflect

Usama Bin Karim Al Haremi

its components and to capture the increasingly recognized importance of sustainability in the sector’s development.” Second, the original pillar “natural and cultural resources” was divided into two separate subcomponents: “natural resources” and “cultural resources”, thus, allowing to differentiate those countries which do not necessarily have the same strengths or weaknesses in these two different resources. In general, the model was improved with better data and new concepts were introduced.

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