A hospitality industry expert has stressed that Qatar is once again witnessing a growing number of visitors as the Eid al-Adha holidays draw near, particularly from neighbouring Gulf countries, boosting its hospitality and tourism sectors.
“Saudi Arabia is at the top of this list of visitors as the travel arrangements are extremely convenient either by road or by air. The country should most definitely experience heavy footfall of inbound travelers starting August, in anticipation of the FIFA 2022 (World Cup) grand event,” Shady Abdelaziz, director of Sales and Marketing at Sharq Village & Spa, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Doha, told Gulf Times.
He said while the Katara Hospitality-owned hotel is not running any staycation offers, its 174 rooms and suites are already almost booked out for the week of Eid al-Adha.
It is learnt that Qatar, which is becoming a popular leisure destination, continues to witness increasing demand for both inbound and outbound travel despite an off-peak season this summer.
Abdelaziz pointed out that the food and beverage sector serves as a big part of travellers’ choice of accommodation since they are looking to explore local cuisine but also have international options available.
Qatar Tourism’s (QT) launch of the ‘World Class Chefs’ initiative in October 2021 is also expected to further raise the level of food offerings across the country, and attract more visitors from various parts of the world. It aims to host Michelin star chefs and open investment opportunities by “introducing the world’s top culinary talent to the emerging hub of gastronomy in the Middle East”.
The QT initiative also served as a promotion for the staging of the Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) – dubbed as the country’s longest-running food and beverage festival – in its 11th edition held in December last year. It witnessed a huge number of visitors coming to Doha.
QIFF and other food-related events have become increasingly popular in Qatar, attracting and taking local and international visitors to new gastronomic experiences.
Abdelaziz said Qatar’s burgeoning list of offerings in the dining, lifestyle and hospitality segments is a great attraction for GCC nationals from neighboring countries to visit.
He noted that travelers usually spend about three to four days on average at the resort, “so our staycation packages reflect the best all-inclusive rates according to the demographic and what they’re looking for”.
It is learnt that several other hotels in Doha recorded a significant increase in bookings in the past weeks, primarily guests from Saudi Arabia, for the upcoming holidays.