Qatar’s tourism sector contributed QR13.6bn (about $3.7bn) to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, representing 4% of “Qatar’s non-extraction economy.”
Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) annual report revealed the tourism sector also generated 61,000 jobs in the same year, bringing substantial contribution to the job market in Qatar.
“The economic impact of tourism,” including indirect contributions, totaled QR 28bn (about $7.6bn), comprising 8.3% of Qatar’s non-extraction GDP.
QTA noted that more than 2.8mn visitors entered the country in 2014, an 8.2% increase compared with the figures in 2013.
QTA also recorded a 91% increase in foreign visitors since 2009 with an average annual growth rate of 13.8%.
“The tourism industry shows a continued strong performance in 2014 with all key indicators demonstrating improvement and growth compared to 2013,” it added.
QTA chairman Issa bin Mohammed al-Mohannadi said Qatar managed to attract visitors from several key markets, including GCC countries, which contributed 40% of the tourists visiting Qatar in 2014.
Another 28% of the visitors originated from various parts of Asia and Oceania, while 15% of tourists came from European countries.
“These impressive results would not have been achieved without the hard work of QTA, and its public and private sector partners, based on the principles and objectives set out by the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030,” said al-Mohannadi.
He expressed confidence that the tourism sector’s achievements will continue to reach greater heights this year through newly launched initiatives and products.
According to the report, visits from all regions of the world have increased substantially over the past five years with Asia Oceania and GCC visitor markets expanding by 107% and 102% respectively since 2009.
Visits from Europe have also surged by 82% over the past five years.
The report noted that occupancy rates in all hotels increased by 73% in 2014 compared to 65% in 2013.
The largest gains were experienced by the five-star hotels segment, which posted a 71% increase compared to 61% in 2013.
Al-Mohannadi said the strong increase in demand translated into revenue increases across the entire industry.
RevPAR (revenue per available room) increased by 8.3% in 2014 with particularly strong performance in the five and three-star segments, which gained 9.5% and 15.5%, respectively.
The QTA chairman noted that a diverse range of events and activities in Qatar, along with a remarkable increase in regional and international marketing campaigns in 2014, contributed to growth of the leisure tourism sector.