The Minister for Tourism in Oman has recently noted that there was a 43.6% of growth in cruise ship tourists in 2019 with 283,488 passengers visiting against 193,467 in 2018.
A total of 284 cruise ships are already scheduled to anchor at the sultanate’s port in 20219/2020, which will be carrying thousands of tourists from all over the world.
The Ministry has been collaborating with the government, private sector organizations and with ship owners and operators to increase cruise tourism in Oman, as well as trying to develop the capability and efficiency of local ports to handle giant cruise ships.
“They are aiming to attract international cruise ships as part of overall travel and tourism campaigns. To achieve this, they have been improving ports, implementing the best practices and international standards and enhancing their facilities.” Said Abdullah Saif Al Saadi (head of cruise and charter flights, Ministry of tourism).
The Giant Marella made a stopover in Oman for the third time, in 2019. In cruise, there were 1400 passengers in which 700 were arriving and other 700 departing tourists – were exchanged via Muscat International Airport and Sultan Qaboos Port. It has been planned that the cruise carrying 1800 passengers will make a stopover in Oman for the fourth time on April 16-17 2020, In which the passengers will be exchanged – 900 arriving and other 900 departings. So this will also promote winter tourism in Oman.
There will be 27 stopovers (16 at Sultan Qaboos Port, eight at Port of Khasab, and three at Port Of Salalah) in the sultanate during the period 2020-2021 by the large ships.
MSC Company also added MSC Bellissima ship to Oman ports during the 2019-2020 season. After the MSC Lirica, Splendida, Magnifica, and Orchestra, the MSC Bellissima is the fifth ship of MSC to make a stopover in Oman. MSC Cruises will be carrying out 49 visits to Sultan Qaboos Port, Khasab Port, and Salalah Port.
According to the Ministry, the cruise market enhances local tourism, increases economic returns, and enlarges the government sources of income. “284 cruise ships will be visiting Oman during the 2019-2020 period,” said Ministry.