The mandatory two-week hotel quarantine for anyone entering Qatar is expected to give a boost to the country's hospitality industry in the third quarter and the sector focus will be to reinstate and build on the pre-Covid-19 figures in 2021, according to Cushman and Wakefield Qatar (CWQ).

In its latest report, CWQ said the third phase of the ‘post-Covid-19 re-opening’ of Qatar will include a mandatory two weeks’ stay at designated quarantine hotels for anyone entering the country.

"This may provide a small boost to occupancy numbers in the third quarter (Q3); however, we don’t expect signs of a real recovery in the sector before the fourth quarter (Q4)," it said.

'Staycations' would also support occupancy and food and beverage operations as residents/citizens are unable to travel during the summer months, it said, adding beachfront hotels would be able to capitalise on the limitations of travelling abroad.

The CWQ report said predictions that revenues from events, conference, F&B will take longer to return to previous levels.

While there were no new hotel openings in Q2, the Gloria Hotel in Al Mirqab district of Doha sold at a price that reflected about QR680,000 per key (169 rooms).

Following a positive start to 2020, which saw a year-on-year increase in occupancy in January and February, performance metrics tumbled in March after the introduction of lockdown measures, it said.

"The industry focus will be to reinstate and build on the pre-Covid-19 figures in 2021," the report said.

There were 27,598 keys in 132 establishments by July 2020. While construction has continued on the pipeline supply of about 20,000 new keys, "we expect the launch of several establishments, planned for 2020, to be pushed back to 2021", CWQ said.

One of the larger hospitality development projects in Qatar, Qetaifan Projects, recently awarded all the main work contracts for the Qetaifan Island North project, with an anticipated completion in November 2021.

Meanwhile, one of Qatar’s other leading tourism projects, Salwa Beach Resort, is expected to open in the coming months.

"By November 2022, we expect that approximately 48,000 permanent hotel keys will be delivered, to help provide the accommodation required for the FIFA World Cup," it said.

The new resorts would provide Qatar’s residents and tourists with a new type of offering and form part of National Tourism Council’s tourism strategy, CWO said.

According to the Planning and Statistics Authority, tourist arrivals (by air) year-to-date (YTD) in May 2020 showed a 49% decline compared to 2019, due to the enforced government restrictions on international travel into Qatar.

YTD arrivals by sea in May showed an increase of 23%, due to substantial growth of the cruise industry in the Gulf (pre-Covid-19). Overall, the YTD drop in visitor numbers in May reached 41%.

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