GCC visitors to Qatar up by 24 per cent

November 14, 2011

Qatar tourism industry witnessed a steady growth in the third quarter with tourists’ inflow from the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) increasing by 24 per cent, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) figures showed.

Although the hotel room occupancy grew by 4 per cent during the July-September period, the hotel revenues, especially those of four-star and five-star, went up by 79 per cent and 27 per cent respectively, Qatari daily Gulf Times reported.

The number of visitors from the GCC rose by 24 per cent  to 221,793. The figure of tourists from Saudi Arabia surged by 37 per cent  to reach 136,595, from Kuwait by 34per cent to 15,201, from the UAE by 7 per cent  to 25,786 and from Bahrain by 5 per cent  to 22,039. However, the number of visitors from Oman fell by less than 1per cent  to 22,172.

Saudi Arabian tourists made up 62 per cent  of the total GCC inflow (compared with 56 per cent in July-September 2010). Visitors from the UAE were 12 per cent (14 per cent), from Oman 10 per cent (13 per cent), from Bahrain 12 per cent (10 per cent ) and from Kuwait 7 per cent (6 per cent).

“The sector continues to diversify and grow,” Ahmad Al Nuaimi, QTA chairman, said. “This shows greater investor confidence in Qatar’s hospitality industry. The growth in hotel revenues and visitor figures showed the success of the country’s national tourism strategy, which in turn, supported the growth of the country and its aim to diversify the economy,” he said, quoted by the daily.

The average hotel room occupancy stood at 48 per cent during the third quarter ending on September 30 against 44 per cent in the previous year period. A break-up of the quarterly figure showed that September had the highest occupancy at 55 per cent (against 44 per cent a year ago), followed by July 50 per cent (48 per cent) and August 38 per cent (40 per cent).


In terms of revenue, the four-star segment witnessed 79 per cent growth at QR182.36mn and five-star by 27 per cent to QR385.56mn during the third quarter of this year.

The four-star segment had seen its hotel revenues more than triple to QR93.42m in August, while those in September and July rose 35 per cent and 12 per cent to QR45.73m and QR43.22m respectively, QTA said.

In the case of five-star, hotel revenues in September, July and August surged 38 per cent, 27 per cent and 12 per cent to QR154.34m, QR130.69mn and QR100.53m respectively.

Amazing result

According to Al Nuaimi, the four-star hotels revenue growth in August reflected a strong local tourism sector during Ramadan, especially in the food and beverage sector where the revenue increase was about 216 per cent. It also reflected an increase in spending on services in hotels during the month.

“This was also mirrored in the five-star sectors. This is an amazing result and shows people are spending more at hotels, especially on food and beverage,” he said.

There are currently 11 new hotels under construction, according to the Department of Licensing and Classification. These new development would add 21,988 new rooms to the country’s room inventory.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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