MUSCAT: One of the main reasons for the increase in tourist arrivals in Oman has been the introduction of visa-free entry for citizens of 103 countries.
The decision to extend for tourists from 103 countries for 14 days has proven to be a catalyst in promoting the tourism sector.
The decision was made to support the Oman tourism industry with visa-free facilities provided in accordance with specific regulations and conditions.
According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the Sultanate of Oman saw a 348 percent increase in tourists in 2022 compared to 2021, with 2.9 million tourists arriving in Oman in 2022.
Tourist arrivals increased the revenues of 3-5 star hotels by 50.8 percent at the end of January 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, to OMR20.79 million.
According to the most recent data, the occupancy rate increased by 31.3 percent to 53.7 percent, compared to 40.9 percent during the same period in 2022, while the number of 3–5-star hotel guests increased by 65 percent until the end of January 2023, compared to the same period in 2022.
“Indian tourists are among the 30 countries who are allowed entry on arrival, provided they have an entry visa of the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Schengen countries, Japan, or have a resident permit of one of the GCC countries,” said an ROP official. The resident/work permit should be for one of the Oman government-approved professions.”
Armenia, Azerbaijan, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Albania, Laos, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Vietnam, Bhutan, Guatemala, Belarus, Cuba, Panama, Peru, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, and Egypt are among the other 29 countries.”
Visa-free period can be extended for a fee
The ROP official also mentioned that tourists from the 103 countries could stay for longer than 14 days.
Following the specified period, citizens of the countries must apply online for a one-month e-visa for a fee of OMR 20. They can also apply for a multi-entry visa for one year, as long as their stay on each visit is no longer than a month,” the officer explained, adding that certain conditions must be met.
Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Georgia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Belgium, Romania, Slovenia, Finland, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Cyprus, Ukraine, Spain, Czech Republic, Austria, Ireland, United Kingdom, Poland, Slovakia, France, Netherlands, Venezuela, Colombia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Thailand, are among the major countries whose nationals are allowed to enter Oman visa-free for 14 days.