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Direct impact of tourism on GDP touches QR1.06 bn

Direct impact of tourism on GDP touches QR1.06 bn


CATHERINE W GICHUKI
DOHA
The direct impact of tourism on the country's GDP during the Shop Qatar festival was estimated at QR1.06 billion, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has announced.
The Shop Qatar festival, which ran from January 7 to February 7, saw a significant increase in visitors to Qatar.
Speaking to Qatar Tribune on the sidelines of Shop Qatar closing ceremony, QTA Director of Festivals Mashal Shahbik said,"Qatar witnessed a 16.8 percent increase in visitors compared to the same period last year."
She said the number of visitors from GCC countries also increased by 23 percent during the festival compared to the same period last year.
The hospitality sector has enjoyed a 70.5 percent occupancy rate as guests availed of the festival's special offers. The festival has helped entrepreneurs showcase their products.
Elaborating the detail, QTA Head of Event and Festival organisation Shaima al Shaikh said 188,513 people from the GCC visited Qatar, with a majority of them from Saudi Arabia (133,849).
Visitor arrivals peaked during the January school holiday period, which saw a 43 percent increase.
She said the direct impact of inbound tourism on the GDP in August 2016, during which the Qatar Summer Festival was held, was estimated to be QR639 million.
She said the growth was due to promotions and recreational activities offered during the Shop Qatar festival. Other festivals such as Souq Waqif Spring Festival and Al Wakrah Festival also contributed to the increase in visitor arrivals.
In a statement, QTA Chief Tourism Development Officer Hassan al Ibrahim said,"Festivals and events are a key component of Qatar's urban and family entertainment portfolio, which the country has taken great strides in developing in line with the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy and the needs of our visitors. Through exciting new additions to our calendar of events, as well as new retail, entertainment and cultural products, we are building all the ingredients needed for a tourist experience reflective of Qatar and its people. As the tourism sector continues to grow, I look forward working with more partners, both government and private sector, to grow our festivals and events, and showcase the best of what Qatar has to offer."
For his part, QTA Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer Rashed al Qurese said,"The collaborative spirit shown from the various private and public sector partners for the first edition of Shop Qatar has yielded remarkable results across several sectors. This gives me confidence that together we can continue to expand this festival in the years to come and reinforce Qatar's position as a destination of choice for shoppers and families."
The month-long festival took place in 14 different locations and featured 32 days of entertainment and shopping.

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