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Qatar welcomed 2.1 million visitors in 2019
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Qatar welcomed 2.1 million visitors in 2019

Catherine W Gichuki
Qatar welcomes 2.136 million visitors in 2019, representing an increase of 17 percent compared to the same period in 2018, according to Annual Tourism Performance Report 2019 which has been released.
Visitors from all regions of the world grew significantly.
Indian nationals made up the largest portion of visitor arrivals to Qatar in 2019, despite decreasing by 4 percent compared to 2018. Arrivals of UK nationals (133,418 YTD) were up 25 percent from 2018, and arrivals of US nationals (127,271 YTD) were up 22 percent representing unprecedented annual growth rates among nationals from each of these key countries.
According to the report, this growth has helped to offset the 4 percent decline in visits by Indian nationals, which represents some slowing of the substantial growth witnessed between 2017 and 2018 (20%).The increases in visitation from US nationals were consistent across every month of the year, except January, and were most significant in the last quarter.
The report continues to say that in December 2019, Qatar welcomed a record number of US nationals (15,189) to the country—a month during which Qatar successfully hosted the FIFA Club World Cup and the global policy event, Doha Forum. 
Visitations by UK nationals seemed to come from an increasing number of British long-haul travelers choosing Qatar as a stopover destination.
The final quarter of 2019 also marked the beginning of the fourth cruise season in Qatar and the first to welcome turnaround passengers – those whose cruise itineraries began and ended in Qatar. In 2019, Qatar welcomed 127,582 cruise passengers (up 98 percent from 2018) and 57 cruise ships, five of which carried turnaround cruise passengers. In preparation for Qatar’s busiest cruise season yet, Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) and Doha Port inaugurated a new 6000 m2 temporary passenger terminal, further streamlining passenger experiences +17 percent and offering premium services similar to those at Hamad International Airport.

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