Qatar “on its path” to become region’s fastest-growing tourism hub

 Wednesday, July 19, 2023

With Qatar posting its highest ever visitor numbers this year, the country is well on its way to becoming the Middle East’s fastest growing tourism destination.

That is according to Qatar Tourism COO Berthold Trenkel who has remained focused on maintaining the “energetic atmosphere” in the country brought in by the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

To date, Qatar has welcomed more than two million international visitors, with the months of May and June registering the highest figure (567,000) ever recorded for these two months in the last ten years.

International arrivals in 2023 have so far doubled compared to the levels seen pre-pandemic (1.053 million in 2019). By comparison, Dubai welcomed 8.5 million international visitors in the first half of this year.

Commenting on the half year results, Trenkel said that these strong visitor numbers are testament to the determination, hard work, and resilience of everyone involved in Qatar’s tourism and hospitality industry.

With their ongoing roster of international events, industry-leading hospitality infrastructure and ongoing commitment to Service Excellence, Qatar is well on its path to becoming the Middle East’s fastest growing tourism destination.

Visitors from Saudi Arabia remain the top source market for international visitors this year, contributing to nearly a quarter of all arrivals. This is followed by India and Germany.

Hotel performance in Qatar

While overall arrivals are sharply up, it is still not enough to fill the all the new hotels brought into Qatar for the World Cup.

May 2023 data showing year-on-year struggles for all KPIs. The figures, from Qatar Tourism, show occupancy rates averaged 55 percent in the country, down eight percent YOY.

ADRs averaged QAR399, down 15 percent and RevPAR averaged QAR220, down 21 percent.

Hotels during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

During the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the December 2022 month saw record ADRs and RevPAR levels. ADR averaged QAR2,112 and RevPAR QAR1,281.

By comparison, December 2021 ADRs were QAR454 and RevPAR was QAR316.

A month on, ADRs were up 13 percent YOY in January 2023, while RevPARs slipped down eight percent. Occupancies levels dropped 19 percent YOY to 52 percent.

The following February also had ADRs increase 12 percent and RevPARs eight percent.

Occupancies reached 52 percent, a four percent dip. While these results are a far cry from the impossible-to-beat highs of November and December, they show some good signs of growth in the future.

A cumulative 3.4 million football fans attended the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 physically, while billions more watched from around the world.

While global media may paint a different picture, the goal was to inspire those billion others to one day visit the rapidly-modernising country.

This is the same outlook shared by Qatar Tourism, along with all major hotels that are still ‘riding the wave’ of exposure, recognition and excitement that the sporting spectacle created.

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