Qatar: Strong growth for Qatar tourism

GAN Qatar

Hotels in Qatar experienced strong performance in 2014, according to Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).

Occupancy rates increased across all classes of hotels, with the average hotel occupancy rate reaching 73 percent in 2014 compared to 65 percent in 2013, said QTA officials.

The largest gains were experienced by the five-star hotels segment, which realized a surge of 71 percent compared to 61 percent in 2013. The strong increase in demand translated into revenue increases across the entire industry. RevPAR (revenue per available room) increased by 8.3 percent in 2014 with particularly strong performance in the five- and three-star segments, which witnessed gains of 9.5 percent and 15.5 percent, respectively.

A diverse range of events and activities in Qatar, along with a remarkable increase in regional and international marketing campaigns in 2014, contributed to growth of the leisure tourism sector.

Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) recently released its annual report for the tourism industry showing continued strong performance last year.

The figures show all key indicators of the tourism sector demonstrated improvement and growth compared to 2013.

QTA also highlighted the diversification and development of Qatar’s tourism product and service portfolio.

Qatar hosted large-scale events, conferences and exhibitions, such as the Doha Jewelry and Watches Exhibition 2014, the fourth Qatar International Motor Show, and the “Tourism in Tomorrow’s World” conference

QTA attracted more regional tourists through seasonal festivals such as Qatar International Food Festival, Souq Waqif Spring Festival, the fifth International Festival for Falcon and Hunting, and increasing live family entertainment such as Cirque Eloize and Disney Live, Eid festival in Qatar in addition to the Summer Festival.

Qatar hosted a range of high-quality sporting events, such as the Qatar Total Open and Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Tennis

Traditional competitions and events were organized in Qatar aimed at driving regional and international tourists such as the Desert Caravan Challenge,, the annual Sinyar and Al Galayel competitions.

These activities fall within the context of QTA’s efforts and initiatives aimed at providing authentic experiences to attract international tourists.

QTA launched a new tourism project called “Samana” in cooperation with Gulf Helicopters and Regency Travel and Tours. Under this project, helicopter flights are organized for tourists to view Doha’s landmarks from the air.

According to the QTA report, the tourism sector — although in its early stages of development — directly contributed QR13.6 billion (around $3.7 billion) to GDP in 2013, representing 4 percent of Qatar’s non-extraction economy.

The total economic impact of tourism, including indirect contributions, tallied QR28 billion (around $7.6 billion), comprising 8.3 percent of Qatar’s non-extraction GDP. Tourism also contributes substantially to the Qatar job market. In 2013, there were 61,000 jobs that directly supported by the industry.

Figures from the report further state that Qatar welcomed more than 2.8 million visitors from the around the world in 2014, representing 8.2 percent growth over 2013.

Since 2009, international visits to Qatar have increased by 91 percent with an average annual growth rate of 13.8 percent.

Qatar managed to attract visitors from several key markets, including GCC countries, which contributed 40 percent of the tourists visiting Qatar in 2014.

Another 28 percent of the visitors originated from various parts of Asia and Oceania, while 15 percent of tourists came from European countries.

According to the report, visits from all regions of the world have grown substantially over the past five years, with Asian/Oceania and GCC visitor markets expanding by 107 percent and 102 percent respectively since 2009. Visits from Europe have also surged by 82 percent over the past five years.

“These impressive results would not have been achieved without the hard work of QTA, and its public and private sector partners, based on the principles and objectives set out by the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030,” said Issa bin Mohammed Al-Mohannadi, chairman of QTA.

“I am confident that the tourism sector’s achievements will continue to reach greater heights in 2015 through newly launched initiatives and products to enrich the tourism sector and diversify tourism offerings. The result will be more visits from tourists from all over the world, thus achieving the strategy’s goal of establishing Qatar as a preferred international tourism destination with deep cultural roots.”

Hotels experienced strong performance in 2014, according to QTA’s annual report.

Occupancy rates increased across all classes of hotels, with the average hotel occupancy rate reaching 73 percent in 2014 compared to 65 percent in 2013.

The largest gains were experienced by the five-star hotels segment, which realized a surge of 71 percent compared to 61 percent in 2013. The strong increase in demand translated into revenue increases across the entire industry. RevPAR (revenue per available room) increased by 8.3 percent in 2014 with particularly strong performance in the five- and three-star segments, which witnessed gains of 9.5 percent and 15.5 percent, respectively.

A diverse range of events and activities in Qatar, along with a remarkable increase in regional and international marketing campaigns in 2014, contributed to growth of the leisure tourism sector.

The report said that 2014 witnessed the launch of the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030, a turning point for the tourism industry in Qatar.

The strategy is designed to serve as a road map for developing the tourism industry over the next decades and to guide QTA in its efforts to turn Qatar into “an international tourism destination with deep cultural roots.”

QTA plays a key role in coordinating a sustainable tourism sector and increasing the contribution of this sector to a diversified national economy. Source: arabnews