MUSCAT: The sultanate’s star hotels (five- and four-star) registered a 10.3 per cent rise in annual revenues in 2014.

Revenues increased to RO165.97mn from RO150.49mn in 2013, according to the latest report released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).

The occupancy rate in this segment recorded a 2.7 per cent annual growth, reaching 59.9 per cent from the 2013 figure of 58 per cent, buoyed by a 26 per cent uptick in the number of guests to 785,612 in 2014 from 622,805 in 2013.

In the last quarter of 2014, November witnessed the highest occupancy rate at 70.8 per cent while December logged the lowest at 62.9 per cent.

Also last year, the number of guests from African countries registered the highest percentage increase at 59 per cent, even as the numbers remained modest: A total of 5,788 Africans stayed in Oman’s star hotels last year. They were followed by Oceanians whose numbers rose 41 per cent to 10,328 compared with 2013 figures. Non-GCC Arabs and Asians claimed the subsequent spots logging a growth of 38.8 per cent and 38.4 per cent respectively with corresponding numbers of 30,641 and 82,991 in 2014.

Europeans formed the largest guest group with 270,567 of them checking in at major hotels, showing a 33 per cent increase from 203,583 recorded in 2013. Omanis were a close second with 230,307 nationals choosing star accommodation last year compared to 191,223 in 2013, which amounted to a rise of 20.4 per cent, according to NCSI.