Over the last two months, more than half a million visitors attended Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha festival events in Qatar, half of them from the Arab Gulf and the rest from Arab and foreign countries.
The number of hotel establishments has jumped from 112 last year to more than 130 hotels in 2013, according to the QTA.
Hotel occupancy in Souq Waqif reached 100%, while occupancy at hotels in other areas has increased by 58% during the first half of this year.
The Qatari government established the QTA in 2007 as part of its efforts to enhance the country's tourism sector. The QTA promotes Qatar as a regional and international tourist and travel destination for trade, business, education, sports and recreation through the organization of events, festivals and promotions.
The Qatari government, in partnership with the private sector, set out a few years ago to invest in the country's infrastructure by building a large number of hotels and apartments.
In June, the government awarded a contract for the construction and operation of the Doha Metro, which will connect districts and cities and ease traffic congestion and is expected to be completed ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
Qatar possesses tourism resources that include archaeological sites, museums, beach, desert and recreational tourism, as well as festivals, conferences, sporting events and shopping malls.
A promising market
Darwish Travel Company assistant director general Khaldoun Haddad praised the QTA's efforts to stimulate tourism. Qatar hosts international sporting events and conferences throughout the year, which requires it to increase its efforts to build a large infrastructure that includes highways, advanced means of transportation and modern hotels, Haddad said.
"Despite the fact that giant tourism projects have been built, Qatar still lacks beach tourism and development of beach resorts on a larger scale," he said.
The Qatari market is very promising, said Karin Washka, sales manager of Waltrex, a company specialized in hotel furniture, describing it as "strong in the field of hotel services".
The large number of hotels currently under construction in Qatar "increases the demand for companies that produce upscale hotel furniture", she said.
The tourism sector has undergone tremendous development, she said, adding that the pace of investment in the sector is expected to intensify owing to the construction of several five-star hotels.
"A decade ago, we never saw a single tourist in the streets of Qatar," said Abdul Rahim Ibrahim, a columnist specialized in tourism affairs. "Now, however, after the QTA launched its outstanding programs in co-operation with Qatar Airways, it was able to attract large numbers of foreign and regional tourists."
During the Eid al-Fitr festival Qatar received 85,000 visitors from Gulf states, Ibrahim said, adding that the country is expected to see growth in foreign tourism in the coming years.
"In my opinion, the construction of such a large number of hotels is proof of the validity of these expectations," he said.