Qatar is expected to witness continued growth in the hotels’ segment as international and domestic groups focus on the region, BMI Research said and noted the value of the domestic hotels and restaurants industry will continue to rise over 2016, reaching $1.6bn- a 5.4% rise over the year.
By 2020, this will have risen to $2.2bn, the Fitch Group company said in a recent report.
As part of the National 2030 tourism initiative, there has been a “great deal of investment” in the hotel market in Qatar, it said. In order to accommodate the desired 7mn tourists a year, there will have to be a significant increase in the number of hotels within the country.
“Currently, the high-end of the market is well catered for, as Qatar is often seen as a luxury destination,” BMI said.
It is estimated that the luxury segment grew as much as 75% between 2009 and 2014, whereas the mid-scale portion increased by just 22%.
Part of the logic behind hosting major international tourism events is to help diversify this by developing the budget and mid-range hotel industries within the country. By increasing the options available to travellers the country should be able to attract a much wider range of tourists.
“Despite encouraging growth in arrivals, receipts and hotel numbers, the average length of stay in Qatar is well and truly stuck at 1.24 nights. This is a reflection of the type of travellers within the country; regional short break and weekend break visitors and transit visitors taking a short break while travelling further afield, and is typical of sectors dominated by business travellers,” BMI said.
In order to compete with the well-developed tourism industries of its regional neighbours, BMI noted Qatar will need to increase the length of time people stay in the country, as this will have a beneficial effect on receipts and encourage further investment into the sector. Investing in more tourist attractions will help encourage longer stays, as well as developing source markets from further afield, it said.
With a large percentage of source markets being drawn from neighbouring countries it is easy for tourists to stay for a short amount of time, it said.
“Many international hotel groups have identified the Mena region and Qatar in particular as an area of high potential,” BMI said.
“The winning of the FIFA World Cup set to be held in 2022 in particular has increased interest in the country, with companies beginning to plan for developments to be ready by this time. Doha is currently the city being targeted most by developers, but as more tourists visit the city there is hope that tourism can be spread around the country more evenly.
“Over the next five years, the value of the hotel industry is set for a y-o-y average rise of 8.2%. This reflects rising investment as well as increasing arrivals as the popularity of the destination g rows,” BMI said.
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