By Neeraj Gangal
Occupancy rate for H1 2010 is 61 percent compared to 59 percent in H1 2009.
The hotel sector in Qatar shows a rise of two points in the occupancy rate, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) said in a statement on Saturday.
In addition to positive results for occupancy rates, revenues for four-star and five-star hotels in the first half of 2010 exceeded those revenues for the same period in years 2008 and 2009, QTA added.
QTA chairman Ahmed Al Nuaimi said that statistics on occupancy rates for all hotels in Qatar in the first half of 2010 recorded an increase of two (2) points versus the same period in 2009. These statistics show that the occupancy rate for the first half 2009 was 59% compared to the first half 2010 of 61%.
Al Nuaimi added that "this increase is a sign of recovery of the hotel sector in the State from the world economic crisis of 2009. And in spite of the decline in indicators of the global tourism industry to its lowest status in 2009, Qatar's interest in increasing tourism activities in the country by promoting various unique attractions regionally and abroad, and the interest in sports and cultural tourism, led to the positive results.
This recovery in the hotel sector can also be attributed to the continuous expansion in Qatar Airways routes around the world, and raising the size of the fleet (number of airplanes)."
According to Al Nuaimi the year 2009 was the most difficult year on the world tourism industry due to the effects of the global economic crisis on the tourism industry and the subsequent travel restrictions because of the spread of H1N1.
To counter the challenges that the travel and tourism industry is currently facing, Al Nuaimi said: “QTA has developed short-term promotional plans to attract tourists targeted in the current circumstances as well as to address changes at the global tourism level. We are focusing on the type of tourist to target for the future, not only by number but also including the length of stay and amount of money they spend.”
The Qatar tourism authority’s plans also include identifying the largest tourist exporting markets and focusing on them for marketing and promotions to attract the type of tourists convenient for tourist attractions visitors can find in Qatar.
QTA has laid marketing plans for expansion in the Asian market among the countries targeted for the Qatari tourism sector. It has prepared a plan to promote tourism which will be implemented in the Asian countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea.
A delegation representing the tourism sector in Qatar has been compiled including representatives from business tourism, the conferences and exhibition industry, sports tourism, cultural tourism, entertainment tourism and Qatar Airways. This campaign will promote Qatar to MICE (meetings, incentive, convention and exhibition) specialists in these countries.
This is in addition to the continuous promotion of the Qatar as a premier tourism destination, showcasing the different events organized by the State of Qatar, especially the Asian Cup 2011, QTA said in its statement.
“The expansion of investments planned in the field of hotel facilities continues, as it seems certain to open 42 hotel facilities by the end of 2010, ranging from hotels and hotel apartments classified with a rough capacity of up to 6731 rooms and 1573 hotel units,” QTA said.
Al Nuaimi said that revenues of hotel facilities for four and five star hotels operating in the country has seen remarkable growth exceeding the years 2009 and 2008, where revenues of rooms and revenue of drinks and foods department make the bulk of these revenues.
“And due to the increasing number of four- and five-star hotels with high levels of quality and service, statistics show rising revenues of four-star hotels in the first half of 2010 at the rate of QR11m as compared to 2009. As for five-star hotels, they recorded the greater increase of QR100m in the first half of 2010, as compared to 2009,” the tourism authority said. (1 Qatari Riyal = $0.27)