GCC visitors to Qatar up 22% in January-March: QTA
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
DOHA THERE has been a 22 percent rise in the number of GCC visitors to Qatar, during the first quarter of 2012, according to a report of the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) report.
QTA Chairman Ahmed al Nuaimi said the report revealed that the sector was growing to meet the demands placed on it. “These statistics show that Qatar’s tourism and hospitality sector is going from strength to strength,” Nuaimi said.
“Qatar has established itself as a unique tourism destination and is playing to our strengths as a business and sports tourism. The strong showing for our hotel sector shows how it is maturing ahead of the challenges we may face in the next decade.” Travellers from Saudi Arabia to Qatar represented the majority of tourists from the GCC countries with 161,549 tourists arriving during the first quarter, which is a 25.3 percent increase.
Overseas visitor numbers also increased, especially from Asia. Asian tourists visiting Qatar registered the highest growth rate with a total of 36,385 visitors in the first quarter of 2012, followed by European tourists with a total of 10,456 tourists.
The report also revealed there are currently 112 hotels. This will bring Qatar’s hotel rooms and serviced apartment stock to 16,922 offered by 85 hotel facilities with a capacity of 15,025 rooms and 27 apartment hotels with 1,897 units.
According to the report, average hotel occupancy rates reached 64 percent from January to the end of March, and revenues of four and five-star establishments stood at QR734,349 million, an increase of QR32 million, when compared to the same period in 2011.
There has also been a 12 percent increase in the number of hotel facilities compared to last year, which consequently led to an increase in the number of hotel rooms and serviced apartments available on the local market.
Hotel sector statistics show that revenues of four and five star hotels from January to March 2012 were better than the 2011 results during the same period.
Four star hotel revenues increased by QR5 million reaching QR27 million, and five star hotels surged dramatically during the same period, reaching approximately QR32 million out of the total revenues during 2012.