More than 100,000 additional people visited Qatar in the first half of 2015, compared to the same period last year, according to newly released government figures.
The growth in tourism was driven in large part by increasing traffic from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, which accounted for 41 percent of visitors to Qatar from January to June 2015.
In a statement, QTA said that outside the GCC, arrivals were also up from France (8 percent), China (7 percent) and the US (6 percent).
Notably, the uptick in tourism over the past six months was in large part due to a robust first quarter, as the number of visitors here dropped off in May and June.
In fact, for the first time in four years, the number of tourists in Qatar dipped from May to June, likely due to Ramadan’s earlier summer start. During the fasting month, many people in the Gulf postpone traveling, saving their vacation for Eid holidays.
Despite the drop, Qatar still increased the number of visitors it saw over the past six months by seven percent, to 1.5 million people, compared to the same time last year.
That puts it on track to see some a milestone of 3 million visitors this year, prompting QTA to say Qatar is “well on its way to reaching a targeted 7 million visitors by 2030.”
The authority added that hotel occupancy rates also continue to climb – at 75 percent, they were up 2 percent from the same period in 2014.
This is despite the addition of 1,400 new rooms since January. Another 2,500 rooms from 13 properties are expected to open by the end of the year, QTA said.