The number of foreign visitors received by the country rose by 8% in the first nine months of 2015 compared to the same period last year, according to the third quarter Tourism Performance Report released by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).
In total, Qatar received nearly 2.25mn visitors until September-end, QTA said in a statement yesterday.
Pointing to a “thriving tourist accommodation sector”, the report showed that occupancy rates in all hotels stood at 71% in the said period, holding steady from the same period in 2014 despite the addition of 15 new hotels to the market.
“Arrivals from the GCC, Qatar’s largest source market, grew substantially during this period, increasing by 22% as compared to the same period in 2014,” the statement noted.
The growth was primarily dominated by an increase in visitor arrivals from Saudi Arabia, which grew by 31%.
Visitor arrivals from the UAE also grew during the first nine months of 2015 (by 13%), while arrivals from Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman increased by 7%, 9% and 2%, respectively.
The largest growth in other primary markets, outside of the GCC, included arrivals from France (up 9%), China (up 16%) and the US (up 2%).
Visitors arriving in July increased by 14% compared to the same period last year and 31% compared to the same period in 2013.
“This report reflects the healthy development of the tourism sector and is proof that Qatar is on track to achieving its objective of transforming the country into an attractive tourist destination for regional and international visitors,” said Hassan Abdul Rahman al-Ibrahim, chief tourism development officer, QTA.
“The rise in visitor numbers reflects the increase in activity in the tourism sector, specifically the nation-wide events organised by QTA and our partners in the private and public sectors during the summer and Eid seasons,” al-Ibrahim said.
“As the country’s calendar of events and conferences reaches its peak in the fourth quarter, we expect to cross the 3mn visitor mark before the year’s end,” he added.
“QTA will be intensifying efforts to capitalise on this growth through increased regional and global marketing activity, diversifying Qatar’s tourism products and services, attracting investments to the sector, and establishing Qatar as a destination for cruise ships, which will be bringing hundreds of tourists to Qatar during November.”

Occupancy rates remain high in four-star hotels

According to the third quarter Tourism Performance Report released by Qatar Tourism Authority, hotel and hotel apartment data showed a positive performance with especially high occupancy rates in four-star hotels and standard hotel apartments.
The report added that data on hotel apartments for the first nine months of 2015 showed higher occupancy rates than that of hotel properties, with an average of 76% occupancy compared to 71% for hotel properties. In comparison to last year, the average room rate decreased in four-, two- and one-star hotels and increased in three- and five-star hotels.

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