DOHA: The total number of visitors to Qatar in the first five months of the current year reached 1.28 million, a rise of 21 percent compared to the first four months.
According to Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics data, around 1.05 million people visited Qatar between January and April.
Visitors from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region constituted a major chunk — 598,702. Over 294,983 people from other Asian region, including Oceania region, and 199,170 from Europe visited the country during the period.
Visitors from the GCC countries dominate the tourism inflow in Qatar. The first quarter of the year saw an 11 percent increase in the number of visitors from all GCC countries (403,023) compared to the first quarter of 2015 (361,660), with most of the growth generated by Saudi Arabia, according to Qatar Tourism Authority.
The number of Saudi tourists visiting Qatar in the first quarter of the year increased by 16 percent to 280,255 compared to the same period last year.
Tourist arrivals totalled 2.93 million last year, over a third of whom were from Saudi Arabia and India.
The total number of tourist arrivals last year was 3.7 percent up over the previous year, while the average annual growth between 2010 and 2015 was 11.5 percent.
Some 855,555 Saudis visited Qatar last year. Indians were the second-largest group of tourists, totalling 375,910.
Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in Qatar and playing an increasing role in diversifying the national economy, shielding it from oil market fluctuations.
Qatar welcomes visitors in world-class, high- standard hotels.
The average hotel occupancy rate last year was 71 percent, with the total number of hotel rooms being 20,713.
Visitors had more options to choose hotels last year
Residents in Qatar and tourists coming here got more options to choose hotels last year.
Qatar’s hospitality sector saw the opening of 13 new hotels last year, mostly four- or five-Star.
Increasing supply of hotel rooms in the country is good news for its hospitality sector because it will support growing tourism sector.
Qatar has emerged as an important destination in terms of business tourism because of the increasing number of business events. Qatar is hosting many international exhibitions, seminars and conferences attracting professionals from across the globe.
Author: Sachin Kumar