Qatar is investing $17 billion into tourism infrastructure as part of its five-year plan and it hopes for a 20 per cent growth in the sector in five years, a senior official said.
The infrastructure will cover construction of luxury hotels, resorts and meeting facilities, said Abdulla Malalla Al-Bader, director of tourism at Qatar Tourism Authority. "To meet forecasted demand, hotel capacity will increase by 400 per cent to over 29,000 luxury rooms and apartments by 2012.
“As our mission at the Qatar Tourism Authority is to promote and support the country as a quality tourism destination for business, education, leisure, culture and sport, we see hotel expansion as the cornerstone for the future,” he said.
The GCC hospitality market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8.1 per cent to a total of $38 billion by 2016.
While Saudi Arabia is expected to remain the largest GCC market in terms of revenue, Qatar shows much promise to become one of the fastest growing markets.
Driven by its preparations for the World Cup and its $57 billion National Vision 2030 plans, hotel occupancy rates in Qatar are expected to average around 67 per cent to 73 per cent between 2012 and 2016, research reports said.