Spending by foreign tourists went up from QR10.2bn in 2010 to QR24bn in 2015, a new report issued by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) reveals.
The spurt in income was driven by an increase in the number of foreign tourists and growing expenditure on goods and services offered across different sectors, according to the analytical report on the role of tourism in supporting the country’s economic development.
Noting that the tourism sector has emerged as one of the pillars of economic diversification in the country, the report says local tourism spending – by Qataris and expatriates – has also increased over the past few years, going up from QR7.2bn in 2011 to QR11.6bn in 2015.
In total, the income from tourism stood at QR36bn in 2015.
The number of foreign tourists went up from 1.7mn in 2010 to 2.9mn in 2015, translating to an annual growth of 11%. In particular, visitors from the Arab and GCC countries accounted for around 57% of the total number of tourists due to cultural and heritage similarities, the report observed.
Besides, average spending by foreign tourists on different goods and services, including services of the national airline, increased from QR2,471 in 2010 to QR8,418 in 2015, it added.
Meanwhile, the report observed that tourism’s contribution to the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose from 3.3% in 2011 to 5.4% in 2015, while for nominal GDP (at current prices) it increased from 3.5% in 2011 to around 6.9% in 2015.
The report discussed the direct impact of tourism on the country due to spending on hotels, restaurants and transportation in addition to other related services. Tourism also has an indirect impact that positively influences different services and supplies, it notes. In addition, there is an induced impact from the spending.
The added value achieved through spending from tourism, foreign and local, amounted to QR21.1bn in 2011, which rose to QR41.3bn in 2015. This entailed 39% direct impact, 46% indirect impact and 15% induced impact.
Further stressing the vital role of tourism in supporting economic growth, the report said the sector contributed to about 27% of real economic growth in 2012, directly or indirectly, and the same ranged from 12% to 14% in the last three years.
Meanwhile, the report said preliminary estimates indicate that foreign tourism contributed around 11% of the achieved real economic growth over the past five years.Last updated: February 22 2017 10:46 PM
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