By Andy Sambidge
Qatar Tourism Authority says 38% of total visitors were GCC nationals during first six months of year
Visitor numbers to Qatar grew by eight percent to more than 1.4 million during the first half of 2014, according to new figures released by Qatar Tourism Authority.
More than half a million of those were GCC nationals (536,264), representing 38 percent of total tourists, the authority said in a statement.
It added that in the first half of 2014, the average hotel occupancy rate rose to 74 percent from 67 percent for the same period last year, assisted by a 1.9 percent decrease in available rooms due to renovation-related closures.
Total revenue at four- and five-star hotels increased by 4 percent, reaching QR1.98 billion, while total revenue at three-star hotels reached QR 82.51 million in a growing area of the hotel market, the QTA said.
Average room rate (ARR) for the first six months of the year was estimated at QR721 for five-star hotels, QR389 for four-star hotels, QR277 for three-star hotels, QR273 for two-star hotels, and QR212 for one-star hotels.
Revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased by 8.5 percent to QR544 across five-star hotels and by 4.5 percent to QR455 across both four- and five-star hotels.
All key indicators of the tourism sector demonstrated improvement and growth, the report said.
“This report demonstrates Qatar’s progress toward becoming a developed and sustainable tourism destination,” said Hassan Al Ibrahim, chief tourism development officer at QTA.
“Confidence in Qatar’s tourism sector remains buoyant and our efforts continue to bear fruit in terms of promoting and developing the sector.
"The launch in February of the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 provides a clear framework to all sector stakeholders for how we will contribute to moving our country towards a prosperous future and one that is less dependent on oil and gas resources."