Qatar’s business events sector witnessed significant gains last year as it won bids to host 10 largescale exhibitions, conferences and festivals, among others, between 2019 and 2023, according to the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC).
Some of these events include the ‘Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises 2020’ and the ‘World Symposium of Choral Music 2023’, noted QNTC in its Annual Tourism Performance Report 2019.
The QNTC forged partnerships with its partners aimed at promoting the country as a “sustainable year-round tourist destination, offering nation-wide festivals” last year.
The same year saw the staging of some of the most anticipated events such as the ‘10th edition of the Qatar International Food Festival’ and ‘Summer in Qatar 2019’, the report showed.
Local exhibitions also brought together a large number of participants, exhibitors and visitors in 2019, the report noted.
The 16th edition of the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition attracted nearly 24,000 visitors while more than 39,000 came for the Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition.
The QNTC report also showed that “the room supply across the hospitality accommodation sector in Qatar increased by 6% in 2019 compared to 2018”.
The demand for rooms surged (up 15%) despite the increased supply, which saw 9% growth in occupancy.
“While Average Room Rate (ARR) was down by 2% across all hotels and hotel apartments, Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) was up 7% in 2019 compared to 2018,” the reported noted.
In 2019, visitors stayed 3.54 nights per trip (average length of stay or ALOS) in the hotel segment (with the highest in four-star hotels at 4.93 nights per trip on average) and 6.56 nights per trip in the hotel apartment segment (the highest was in Standard Apartments at 7.13 nights per trip on average).
The reported noted that “ALOS across all hotels and hotel apartments dropped slightly (-2%) in 2019 as compared to 2018.”
In the last five years (2014-2019), the number of European visitors comprised the largest increase (up 56%, with an average annual growth rate of 9%) followed by the Americas (up 41%, with an average annual growth rate of 7%).
The number of Africans (36%), as well as other Asians, including Oceania (4%), who visited Doha since 2014 also grew.
Over five years, the report also noted that “visitor arrivals from nationals of all regions showed positive growth” except those of GCC nationals and of other Arab countries, which witnessed sharp decreases as a result of the blockade, which began in mid-2017.