Muscat: The upcoming Qatar 2022 Fifa World Cup is expected to boost the GCC tourism sector in the short term, according to experts at a webinar attended by Oman Daily Observer.
The report revealed by Fitch Solutions said, “While Qatar will be the main beneficiary as host of the World Cup, the impact of the event will spill over to neighbouring countries as Qatar alone is unable to accommodate all visitors associated with the tournament.
Other GCC states will accommodate fans seeking to travel to Qatar to watch the games. Several airlines, including those from the Sultanate of Oman, will enable ticket holders to travel to and from Doha immediately before and after the fixture.”
Forecasts suggest that growth in tourist arrivals to all GCC countries will accelerate in 2022, with Oman and Saudi Arabia’s growth rates reaching triple digits to even around 150 per cent. “We expect the influx of tourists will provide a boost to the accommodation, retail, restaurant, and recreation sectors across the GCC states, supporting overall economic activity in 2022.”
Speaking to the Observer, the Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism recently said that opportunities are plenty for big as well as small businesses. Different categories of tourists will have a variety of hotels to choose from various packages, which will be provided by several tour operators.
The Qatar World Cup is expected to provide a significant boost for both Oman and Saudi Arabia’s tourism sectors. While Oman’s tourism sector is more developed than that of Saudi Arabia, both countries have been actively trying to invest in expanding the sector in the past couple of years.
Tourism plays a major role in Saudi Vision 2030, and Oman Vision 2040, tourism industries are set to benefit in the long term from the influx of tourists during the World Cup.
Both Saudi Arabia and Oman will seek to gain global recognition for important domestic cultural and heritage sites, especially Al Jabal al Akhdhar and Jabal Samhan.
“As some of the World Cup fans will have the opportunity to visit these sites during their stay in Oman, this will play a role in accelerating the global recognition as potential tourist destinations, and thus benefit the tourism industry in the long-term.”
Source : OmanObserver