- 702,800 visitors welcomed in January 2024
- Record 42,500 visitors received on Jan 25
Qatar received 702,800 visitors in January 2024, setting a record for the number of international visitors the country has received in a single month, in addition to the largest number of visitors in a single day – 42,500 visitors on January 25, with 23,400 of them coming from Saudi Arabia, hitting a 95% record hotel room occupancy rate on that day, HE Qatar Tourism (QT) Chairman Saad bin Ali al-Kharji, has said.
QT launches a rich calendar for 2024
QT Chairman pointed out that Qatar Tourism has launched a rich calendar for 2024, coinciding with the hosting of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023. Among the major events in the upcoming period are:
• The 20th edition of the Doha Watches and Jewellery Exhibition 2024 from February 5 – 11, showcasing the most prestigious and renowned brands worldwide.
• The 13th edition of the Qatar International Food Festival during February 7 – 17 at Al Bidda Park, featuring a diverse range of restaurants, renowned local and international chefs, and a variety of entertainment shows.
• There will also be a series of distinctive and diverse music concerts.
• Qatar is preparing for the Lights Festival, which will be held at Lusail Boulevard, with details to be revealed soon.
• In February 2024, Qatar is gearing up to host the Web Summit (WSQ), one of the largest technology conferences globally, for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region. Qatar has secured the exclusive hosting rights for the conference for the next five years.
Speaking to Majid al-Jubara, Managing Editor and Atef al-Jibali, Business Reporter at local Arabic daily Arrayah, he stressed that tourism is one of the pillars of economic diversification and sustainable growth in Qaar. Accordingly, he noted the launch of active policies, development of legislation, utilization of the Qatar Airways global network, provision of new tourism services, and the design of unique experiences for visitors to enhance this vital economic sector.
Al-Kharji affirmed that there is significant work ahead in the coming years, stressing his commitment to overcoming all obstacles hindering the sector’s growth, and enhancing partnerships and collaborations with the concerned entities, aiming to achieve six mn visitors to the country by 2030. The ultimate target is to increase the contribution of the tourism sector to the local GDP from 7% to 12%, doubling employment in the hospitality sector, and make Qatar one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the region.
He also highlighted the success in promoting domestic tourism through optimal investment in the country’s natural potentials, infrastructure development, and the excellent tourist facilities, as Qatar’s diverse tourist attractions make it an ideal destination for visitors and residents.
“As the 2024 starts, we are implementing various initiatives for the coming years, focusing on developing sports tourism, enhancing the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) sector, creating specialised programmes for specific markets with programmes to lease aircraft to attract tourists from selected countries such as China, promoting business activity in the priority markets, and improving hospitality and entertainment experiences for both visitors and residents,” Al-Kharji said.
He noted the importance of Qatari talents in tourism development, noting that QT employs 152 Qatari staff out of its 207 employees. QT is also working to attract top talents in the tourism sector to increase the percentage of Qataris in the workforce. He further talked about the work to double employment in the tourism sector, requiring more human resources, and promoting Qatar as a major travel destination, whether as a connecting hub or a final destination. He also outlined QT’s vision to make Qatar one of the leading tourist destinations.
Al Kharji pointed out that representation offices and agencies are considered partners in representing Qatar Tourism in many key markets. Accordingly, QT identified 15 priority source markets, including Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, and focused on six key tourism demand areas that showcase Qatar’s natural and tourist potentials.
In Qatar, there are a total of 39,000 hotel rooms. The hotel occupancy rate in 2023 reached 60%. The number of visitors to Qatar during 2023 exceeded 4mn , hitting the highest rate in the past five years.
Qatar has emerged as a leading global tourist destination, boasting a rich record in hosting major events and providing unforgettable experiences for its residents and visitors alike. This is attributed to its diverse tourist offerings and advanced modern facilities, making Qatar an ideal destination for hosting major international events and tournaments. “Hosting world-class events such as conferences and exhibitions serves as an effective means to achieve our ambitious goal of becoming one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in the Middle East by 2030.
“Qatar has invested in modern tourism infrastructure that allows it to effectively host large events and accommodate visitors. We have conference and meeting facilities in 128 venues with a total capacity of 70,000 sqm. Further, Qatar is getting ready to host the Web Summit (WSQ) conference in February, which is one of the largest technology conferences globally. It will be held for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region, as Qatar successfully secured exclusive hosting rights for the conference over the next five years,” said Al-Kharji
Further, he stressed that Qatar possesses all the tourist attractions that cater to various cultures, including natural reserves, historical castles, public beaches, parks, prestigious museums, renowned restaurants, international resorts and hotels, traditional markets, and major shopping complexes. This makes Qatar an ideal destination for visitors and residents to spend their holidays with family.