* International visitor spend accounted for nearly 14.5% of country’s exports last year, ‘2022 Annual Research’ by World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has shown

Qatar recorded international visitor spend of QR52.1bn in 2021, which accounted for nearly 14.5% of the country’s exports last year, the ‘2022 Annual Research’ by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has shown.
International visitor spending accounted for 87% of the total visitor spend in 2021.
Leisure spending totalled QR44.73bn, 75% of the total spending in Qatar in 2021, WTTC data reveal.
Nearly 250,000 people were employed in the country’s travel and tourism sector last year, which represented 12% of the total jobs in 2021, the global forum for the travel and tourism industry noted, the research paper showed.
In 2021, the travel and tourism sector contributed QR67.6bn to Qatari economy, or 10.3% of the total GDP, it said.
On inbound arrivals last year, the WTTC data showed Indians accounted for 8% of the total arrivals, followed by those from Kuwait (4%), Oman (3%), UK (2%) and he US (2%).
On outbound departures from Qatar, Turkey topped the list with 14%, followed by Kuwait (12%), Bahrain (11%), Saudi Arabia (10%) and the US (5%).
On the global scale, prior to the pandemic, travel and tourism (including its direct, indirect and induced impacts) accounted for one in four of all new jobs created across the world, 10.3% of all jobs (333mn), and 10.3% of global GDP ($9.6tn).
Meanwhile, international visitor spending amounted to $1.8tn in 2019 (6.8% of total exports).
WTTC said following a loss of almost $4.9tn in 2020 (-50.4% decline), travel and tourism's contribution to GDP increased by $1tn (+21.7% rise) in 2021, the latest annual research has shown.
In 2019, the travel and tourism sector contributed 10.3% to global GDP; a share which decreased to 5.3% in 2020 due to ongoing restrictions to mobility. 2021 saw the share increasing to 6.1%.
In 2020, 62mn jobs were lost, representing a drop of 18.6%, leaving just 271mn employed across the sector globally, compared to 333mn in 2019. Some 18.2mn jobs were recovered in 2021, representing an increase of 6.7% year-on-year.
Following a decrease of 47.4% in 2020, domestic visitor spending increased by 31.4% in 2021, WTTC said. And following a decrease of 69.7% in 2020, international visitor spending rose by 3.8% in 2021.
Julia Simpson, president and CEO, WTTC, said travel and tourism GDP is set to grow on average by 5.8% annually between 2022 and 2032, outpacing the growth of the overall economy (2.7% per year).
“Our research shows that travel and tourism GDP could return to 2019 levels by the end of 2023. What is more, the sector is expected to create nearly 126mn new jobs within the next decade. While government support has been instrumental throughout this crisis, the swift recovery of the sector will only be possible if leaders and public officials work together and provide clear and consistent rules.
“Governments need to focus on co-existing with Covid-19 while enhancing preparedness for future crises, offering safe travel experiences, supporting equitable vaccine distribution, and continuing to ease the conditions of entry to destinations.
“The future outlook is positive, and our sector is once again showing its resilience and ability to bounce back. Despite the difficulties the sector has been facing, our projections point to a strong decade of growth,” Simpson noted.