Qatar’s hotels are still experiencing a growth in demand for their rooms and services despite the addition of many new hotels to the marketplace, an industry expert has said.
According to Philip Wooller, area director for hotel data firm STR Global, 11 percent more hotel rooms were occupied in 2013 than in 2012, despite an overall supply increase of 6.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the rate charged for rooms actually dropped by 7.9 percent in the same period, possibly due to existing hotels competing for a share of an increasingly crowded market, he added.
Wooller’s assessment builds on positive news released by the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) last November, which showed that more visitors checked in to Qatar’s hotels last summer – a traditionally quiet period – than in 2012.
The upbeat numbers come amid a renewed push by Qatar to boost its tourism revenue. A new strategy to help the nation compete with its regional rivals, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is expected to be released soon.
Both UAE cities also saw increased tourist numbers over the summer season last year, and continue to surpass Qatar’s occupancy rates.
Business tourism continues to be the main draw for visitors to Qatar. The majority – 70 percent – of the country’s hotel bookings are from this sector, the general manger of the Concorde Hotel Doha recently told the Gulf Times.
Most of the remaining 30 percent of visitors are from other GCC countries, he added.