Qatar’s hospitality sector has ranked at the top of Gulf Cooperation Council destinations in the Guest Experience in the Middle East report, released by hospitality and travel data providers Olery.
The report monitored and analysed more than 2 million online guest reviews over the past 12 months (1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016) from popular sites such as Booking.com and TripAdvisor. The results showed that Qatar’s overall ranking in the Middle East has climbed from 7th to 6th since the 2015 report, with an increase of 2% in its Guest Experience Index.
The Index measures overall guest satisfaction by analysing different aspects of their tourist accommodation experience, including service, location, cleanliness, room quality, and value for money. In Qatar, hotel room quality and cleanliness were highly rated (85.7 and 87.2 respectively), placing the country in the 2nd and 3rd ranks for these categories respectively. According to the ‘guest type’ category, Qatar’s tourist accommodation was particularly popular among business travelers, couples, and groups of friends.
According to Hassan Al Ibrahim, QTA’s Chief Tourism Development Officer, this news is particularly welcome as Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) continues to roll out its Hotel Grading and Classification System, which incorporates guest experience data from Olery in its assessment of hotel establishments.
“We released the Hotel Grading and Classification System at the beginning of 2016 and have been delighted with how forthcoming hoteliers and developers are in working with QTA to implement the changes necessary to raise the sector’s overall standards,” he remarked. “There is a mutual understanding that enhancing the hospitality sector is key to the success of the tourism industry as a whole, and taking guest experience into account is critical to this ongoing process of development and refinement.”
The new Hotel Grading and Classification system, which aims to make hotel ratings more fair and transparent, was released after two months of testing and six months of development in collaboration with the local industry, hoteliers and international experts.
As the first part of the system’s roll out, hoteliers are currently completing their self-assessments. Following this, QTA inspectors will be visiting hotels to verify the results, and to ensure they have either made the changes required of them, or have put into place an agreed schedule for addressing any deficits in facilities and services. Hotels that do not make the needed improvements, or chose not to, will then be re-graded – this could involve them losing a star.
The report was released at the Arabian Travel Market currently being held in Dubai and running until 28 April. QTA is leading a delegation of 35 hotels, tour operators and other industry service providers at the leading event for the Middle East inbound and outbound travel industry. Together they are showcasing the country’s unique tourism offerings, including top quality luxury accommodation, cultural attractions, family entertainment, festivals and events, as well as great shopping, dining and other leisure activities.
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