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Qatar tourism rises in Q3 2013, shows data

Data from Qatar Tourism authority showed all indicators from the sector showed improvement and growth from Q3 2012

Published: Updated:

Tourism industry in Qatar continues its upward trajectory, latest data from Qatar Tourism Authority released Wednesday said.

All key indicators of the tourism sector demonstrated improvement and growth from the previous year comparable period, showed QTA’s third quarter 2013 report.

The average hotel occupancy rate rose from 50 percent to 57 percent despite the industry adding over 600 rooms, growing inventory by 4.73 percent.

These jumps meant that Total Revenue amongst 4 & 5-Star Hotels increased by QR 85.3 million, reaching a total of QR 703.1m for the quarter.

The 13.81 percent increase over the previous year, despite being the lower summer season, sees strong demand, with an equivalent 19 percent increase in Rooms Revenue.

QTA Statistics now incorporates wider field of data, which hopes to provide greater guidance to the industry. The data is based on hotel submissions to QTA, and assists in assessing trends and underlying opportunities.

Despite the increase in room inventory the average room rate per available room per day for both 4 & 5 Star hotels increased by 8.82 percent from last year, rising from QR 293 to QR 319.

Contrary to industry opinion that predicted falls in revenues due to rapid room inventory increases, Average Total Revenue per available room per day grew by 4.41 percent over Q3 2012.

This indicates the sector is still facing robust demand and the 4th Quarter in 2013 is likely to show strong growth.

Driving the tourism sector was increased exposure to the global economy, assisted by the influx of companies and businesses supporting Qatar’s infrastructure development.

A diverse range of events and activities in Qatar, and increased regional and international presence during the third quarter of 2013 also pushed growth in the leisure sector. These include the Eid Festival 2013, as well as performances of Cirque du Soleil at the Aspire Dome.

The Eid Al Adha Festival in October built on the success of the earlier Eid Al Fitr Festival, aimed at promoting Qatar as a family tourist destination regionally.

In September, QTA announced the official opening of its French representative office in Paris, the second representative office in Europe. QTA also joined the world in celebrating World Tourism Day on the 27th of September, organizing a local photography competition to raise awareness of the importance of tourism to Qatar’s economy and the local community.

QTA led Qatar’s delegation at ITB Asia in Singapore, the largest travel show in Asia. QTA utilized the occasion to hold buyers meetings and interact with counterparts in the Asian tourism industry, setting the stage for increased tourist growth from the region.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette.