Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) recently released its tourism figures for 2013.
As per statistics for 2013, Qatar welcomed more than 1.3 million visitors from around the world, compared to 1.2 m in 2012. Regional visitors increased by 14.4%, with greatest volumes from Saudi Arabia followed by UAE, with Kuwait continuing its high growth rate at over 35% compared to last quarter of 2012. International arrivals increased by nine percent, with an increase in business arrivals from Asia at 14%.
The largest source of tourists remains the GCC region with 1,090,239 visitors; followed by Asia (152,476 visitors), Europe (35,861 visitors), Non-GCC Arab countries (34,093 visitors), and Africa (4,045 visitors), arriving on either business or tourist visas.
His Excellency Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, chairman of QTA, said: “Tourism remains a significant economic driver for Qatar. There is, of course, much to accomplish toward our goal of seven million visitors by 2030. While the 2013 figures are impressive, we have to look beyond numbers and continue the shift towards quality and sustainable tourism.”
The average hotel occupancy rate rose from 60% to 65%, this despite additional rooms added to the market. This corresponds to an overall increase of QR 411.13 m in revenues (+13%) in four and five-star hotels. These performance improvements bring the four and five-star hotel annual earnings to QR 3.58 bn. Four and five-star hotels make up 11,717 of Qatar’s 13,551 rooms.
The scene is set for continued growth, as new infrastructure readies to accelerate the growth of the sector in 2014 and beyond. A total of 124 hotel establishments are planned, bringing an additional 21,402 rooms, suites and units when completed. Doha Exhibition and Conference Center is under construction and Hamad International Airport is set for a 2014 opening.