Qatar has witnessed a robust domestic tourism, especially for the beach-front hotels, and the hospitality sector will be boosted by the delivery of several major tourism and leisure projects, according to Cushman and Wakefield Qatar (CWQ).
While the lack of international visitors has affected hotel performance, there has been an increase in domestic tourism, as Qatar’s residents’ have been unable to travel, CWQ said in a recent report.
Since hotels re-opened in the second quarter of this year, beach-front hotels, in particular, have witnessed a sharp increase in ‘staycations’, it said.
"Whilst the difficulties of travelling have undoubtedly upset many holiday and work trips, this has meant an increase in domestic real estate transactions as well as a boost to the hospitality market in terms of stay cations and food and beverage revenue once hotels were allowed to re-open," said Edd Brookes, general manager of CWQ.
The hospitality sector’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic would be boosted by the delivery of several major tourism and leisure projects, it said.
The development of Salwa Beach Resort, Zulal Wellness Resort, Qetaifan Islands, Lusail, and Doha Oasis, as well as the redevelopment of Doha Port and regeneration of the historic city centre will all form part of Qatar’s tourism strategy to increase visitor numbers and help to boost occupancy rates and revenues in the hotel sector, it added.
The most recent figures released by the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) show that hotel occupancy reduced to 51% in July 2020 from 64% in July 2019. Hotel occupancy has been impacted by the lack of business and leisure visitors in recent months.
Finding that several three and four-star hotels in Qatar have been utilised as quarantine facilities for residents returning to Qatar from abroad; CWQ said the use of hotels as quarantine facilities has helped to support occupancy rates; however, in the longer term, the tourism sector will need to experience a robust recovery to maintain and boost occupancy rates.
Hotel revenues have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic over recent months; it said highlighting that the average daily rates (ADRs) for all hotels in Qatar stood at QR379 and revenue per available room of QR194 at the end of June this year.
The report estimates that by September 2020 the supply of hotel keys would have increased to 28,249, up from 27,261 in December 2019.
There are currently 134 registered hotel properties in Qatar, including hotel apartment buildings.
The Covid-19 pandemic has slowed the delivery of new hotel supply throughout this year. There are currently more than 20,000 rooms under construction, which will complete before the FIFA World Cup in November 2022.
"Given the recent delay in the delivery of anticipated new supply, we expect a significant increase in supply to reach the market in 2021," it said.