Qatar tourism getting affected by a Saudi-led barrier

Published on : Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Qatar tourismA Saudi-led obstruction against Qatar is already showing its effects on the country’s tourism industry.

A survey by Reuters showed that the hotels in Doha which would normally be full during the Eid Al Fitr holiday have seen considerable falls in their occupancy rates. The survey showed that the average occupancy was around 57 per cent at the start of the Eid festival on Sunday.

The aviation industry would also be another important sector to suffer from the blockade. Estimates, as reported by Reuters, showed that Doha’s Hamad International Airport, one of the Middle East’s busiest, would handle 76 percent as many flights in early July compared with the same period last year, which is a loss of about 27,000 passengers per day.
Hundreds of weekly flights to and from Qatar have already been cancelled because of the dispute. Hamad airport would lose fees paid by airlines and passengers, as well terminal revenue from duty free shops and restaurants. Elsewhere in the tourist sector, hotels, restaurants and other facilities have had to find new sources of services and goods, in some cases, at higher cost, due to the boycott.

Developing business and leisure tourism is part of Qatar’s drive to develop its economy apart from dependence from oil and gas revenue. Doha aims to raise the tourism sector’s contribution to GDP to 5.2 percent by 2030 from around 4.1 percent at the moment.

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