Qatar is one of the fastest growing markets in the Gulf, with business and leisure tourism on the ascendant as the country develops its infrastructure as part of a US$65 billion investment plan ahead of its hosting of the 2022 football World Cup as reported by Qatar Chronicle.
According to Qatar Tourism, the official government body, the country is entering a sustained decade-long period of development and growth, with over 85,000 new hotel rooms set to bolster current inventory by 2022. Alpen Capital’s October 2012 GCC Hospitality Industry Report highlighted the ‘slow but steady’ growth in tourism receipts, which saw a CAGR of 15.9% in the period 2002 to 2011.
“Tourist arrivals in Qatar are expected to rise at a CAGR of 1.9% between now and 2022, and the government’s US$65 billion commitment to infrastructure development has proved to be a major incentive for long term investment by leading hospitality providers,” said Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions as reported by Qatar Chronicle.
In 2012, the capital added to its upscale inventory, with the opening of the St Regis Doha and new InterContinental Doha The City, as well as the country’s first Hilton hotel. A second Four Seasons hotel is currently under development and budget brands are making an appearance with the popular Premier Inn chain debuting on the city outskirts later this year. Currently the luxury segment accounts for between 66 and 78% of supply while, mid-scale and economy supply is between 22 and 34%.
“Tourist arrivals in Qatar are expected to rise at a CAGR of 1.9% between now and 2022, and the government’s US$65 billion commitment to infrastructure development has proved to be a major incentive for long term investment by leading hospitality providers,” said Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
Qatar has an exceptionally strong presence at this year’s ATM show with major organisations such as Qatar Tourism Authority, Katara Hospitality and Qatar Airways all participating.
“Katara Hospitality alone has more than 4,000 hotel rooms already operational or under construction and with the introduction of more and more budget properties, Qatar is committed to the development of a well-rounded tourism product in line with the 2030 national vision for a sustainable economy,” he added.
Hotel room capacity in Qatar is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.1% over the next five years, hitting US$1.1 billion by 2016 (up from US$0.6 billion in 2011). The country’s national carrier, Qatar Airways will launch six new routes in H1 2013, growing its current network to 123 key destinations. Ground has also been broken on the new US$14 million Doha metro network.
“As world-class infrastructure projects gives rise to new economic opportunity, with tourist arrivals expected to reach as a many as 3.7 million by 2022, Qatar will see a transition from a predominantly business-led visitor profile to a stronger business-leisure mix with the football World Cup a milestone marker for the hospitality and tourism industry,” commented Walsh.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, 2013 will see the show celebrate two decades of success.
Covering the entire week, the popular Seminar Theatre programme will address industry hot topics from developments in the aviation sector, inbound and outbound trends as well as the development of tourism over the last 20 years of Arabian Travel Market.
The line-up for this year’s Arabian Travel Market will once again bring together the UNWTO regional tourism ministers’ conference and the WTM Vision forum, which will focus on Middle East travel trends and the online travel market. -Eye Of Riyadh
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