Tourism to contribute $1.1bn to Qatar economy in 2012: WTTC
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
DOHA THE direct contribution of travel and tourism to Qatar’s GDP is expected to reach $1.1 billion in 2012, compared to $800 million in 2009, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.
Qatar has embarked on an aggressive infrastructure spending programme as it prepares to host the 2022 World Cup, and for life beyond.
“The economic conditions are excellent. We see Qatar as a crucial addition to our GCC portfolio and look forward to our core brand Radisson Blu making its entry in the market in 2012. The country has certainly become a key hotel investment destination,” commented Kurt Ritter, president and CEO, the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.
He was speaking in the context of the oncoming annual Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2012 (AHIC) slated to take place in Dubai between April 28-30 at Madinat Jumeirah to discuss investment opportunities in a region where governments are ploughing billions of dollars into tourism infrastructure.
Top industry executives and officials will head to Dubai to take part in the conference.
Over the next five years, Qatar will invest around $65 billion in new transportation schemes. These include the new $11 billion Doha International Airport, the $6 billion Doha port project and a $25 billion metro and railway network.
Qatar is investing $20 billion alone in tourism infrastructure for its World Cup preparations, according to the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), with most of this investment going into building new hotels.
There is plan to have 30,000 hotel rooms by 2013, up from 15,500 late last year, with aims to add 5,000 new hotel rooms each year up until 2022, bringing the total number of hotel rooms to 75,000, according to QTA.
To be held under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, president Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman Dubai Airports and chairman and chief executive Emirates Airline has put together with the organiser MEED Events in partnership with Bench Events a three-day programme designed to explore the outlook for hotel investment in the Middle East’s changing landscape.
As well as focusing on the Middle East’s investment landscape after the Arab Spring, AHIC will hold a session that looks at the issues facing Egypt, while key industry figures will address the challenges of developing and operating in the holy cities of Makkah and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
There will also be a separate dedicated session exploring investment opportunities outside the Middle East.
AHIC attracts over 500 industry leaders annually from over 40 countries, including many of the most influential names within the Middle East’s hotel investment community, as both speakers and attendees.
Details of AHIC can be found on www.arabianconference.