Published on : Wednesday, February 22, 2017
The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) said yesterday that this region had been a spectacle to an increase of about 16.8% in tourists in the period that coincided with the month-long Shop Qatar festival as compared to the same period last year.
The hospitality sector enjoyed an occupancy rate of nearly 70.5% as the guests started to avail of the special rates and offers of the festival.
The growth in the number of tourists was represented by the GCC nationals. This because 188,513 GCC nationals had visited Qatar in the period between 7th January and 7th February that marks a rise of about 23% in comparison to the same dates last year.
A majority of this growth can be attributed to the Saudi market that had ushered in a total of 133,849 visitors to Qatar over the month-long period of Shop Qatar.
The tourist arrivals to Qatar reached a peak during the January school holiday in Saudi Arabia. There has been an increase of nearly 43% in comparison to the holiday period in 2016. The hotel occupancy over this holiday period was averaged around 82.3%. During the mid-way of the holiday season, the occupancy rates were above 90%.
Over the festival period, the direct impact of inbound tourism on the GDP was estimated to be around QR1.06 billion that marks a substantial increase from similar estimates during famous festivals.
The strong growth of the tourism sector was due to the regional promotions in addition to Shop Qatar offerings and festivals like Souq Al Waqrah festival and Souq Waqif Spring Festival.
Hassan Al Ibrahim who is the Chief Tourism Development Officer at QTA said that festivals and events are an important part of the entertainment portfolio of Qatar.
Through the early weeks of the festival, as much as 23,000 people enjoyed the daily shows of the African Circus inside the outdoor area that surrounds the Hyatt Plaza.
About 30,740 tickets had been sold for love shows and concerts.