Government’s efforts aiming to boost Qatar’s hospitality industry’s performance have yielded positive results. Despite the unjust blockade, which has been ongoing for more than two years, the average revenues of hotels across all categories witnessed solid growth (year-on-year) in April 2019, with the budget hotels recording the highest 30 percent.
The average hotel revenue, measured by per available room, increased to QR264 in April 2019 (year-to-date, YTD), up by 5.6 percent, or QR14, compared to QR250 a year ago (April 2018), official data show.
Bolstered by a significant increase in occupancy rates of hotels, the revenue per available room of hotels improved in April 2019 compared to a year ago, latest available data released by the Planning and Statistics Authority show.
The average occupancy of hotels in April (YTD) has increased by 8 percent to 70 percent against 62 percent for the same period last year.
When analyzed by individual categories, data show that all categories of hotels registered growth in ‘hotel revenues per available room’ by varying degrees ranging between QR8 and QR27, with 1&2-Star hotel rooms seeing the highest 30 percent, or QR27 (from QR90 to QR117) increase in revenue per available room.
This was closely followed by 3-Star category hotels which saw their hotel room revenue increased to QR142 in April, up by 13.6 percent (or by QR17 per available room) compared to QR125 in the same period last year.
The 4-Star and 5-Star category hotels rooms recorded the same level of revenue increase (QR8 per available room in absolute terms) which increased to QR160 from QR152 (5.26 percent) and to QR363 from QR355 (2.25 percent), respectively.
This remarkable improvement in the performance of the hotel industry can be mainly attributed to the increase in the number of tourists, especially as a result of triple-digit growth in cruise tourism. According to the official data, some 789,027 visitors arrived in Qatar year-to-date in April 2019. Out of that 685,388 people came by Air and 103,639 by sea, which is over 101 percent surge compared to 51,415 in the same period last year.
Europe and Asia accounted for a significant majority (72 percent) of the total number of visitors in April (YTD) 2019, with Europe (36 percent) followed by Asia (including Oceania) accounting for 36 percent. GCC countries accounted for 11 percent of the total number of visitors for the period.
Nearly 87 percent of the total number of visitors came to Qatar by air and the remaining (13 percent) by sea route. No visitors were able to enter Qatar by land route due to the obvious reason of illegal blockade by Saudi-led Arab quartet.
Contrary to hotel rooms, average revenues for ‘Hotel Apartment’ rooms (measured in per available room) showed a marginal decline of 1.6 percent (year-on-year), which declined to QR247 in April from QR251 a year ago. Revenues per available room in Deluxe category apartments declined to QR267 in April 2019 from QR273 in April 2018, and for Standard category, it declined to QR150 from QR157 a year ago.