Qatar’s hotels recorded a record number of bookings last year, meeting industry forecasts which had predicted that Qatar would be a hot spot for tourism in the Middle East in 2012.
The World Travel & Tourism Council suggested last year that tourism in Qatar would grow by 13%. Whilst the actual overall figure for 2013 is a percentage lower at 12%, new statistics released this week by the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) show strong overall growth in the country’s hospitality sector.
The figures, released as part of the QTA’s Annual Report, give an insight into how Qatar’s tourism vision is shaping up.
In the past, Qatar has made no secret of the fact that it does not want to attract low and mid income leisure tourists, focusing instead on business travel and high end luxury retreats.
However, these new figures point to growth in the number of visitors coming to Qatar simply for a holiday, with 2000 more tourists from outside of the GCC region choosing to do so last year than in 2011.
We can’t tell the income of these visitors, but this trend reflects a statement in the report by QTA Chairman Issa Al Mohannadi that the authority’s “new strategy” is to “diversify and enhance the range of tourism facilities and activities as well as hotel accommodation.”
Statistics for GCC visitors to Qatar showed significant growth last year – up 13% percent last year compared to 2011. There were also 10% more visitors from the rest of the world in 2012 than in the previous year.
The report also reveals that Qatar’s hotel sector is growing at an incredible rate. 110 hotels were under construction last year, which when finished will offer 19,931 rooms to visitors when completed. Last year, hotels in Qatar had a total capacity of 13,407 rooms.
Here are some of the stats:
Credit: Photo by Doha Sam