Recent statistics suggest that Qatar welcomed more than 2.8 million visitors from around the world last year, representing an 8.2% growth over 2013.
These statistics were shared by the annual report of Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).
According to the report, 40% percent of visitors came from GCC countries, 28% from various parts of Asia and Oceania, while 15% of tourists came from European countries.
Since 2009, international visits to Qatar have increased by 91% with an average annual growth rate of 13.8%. According to the report, visits from all regions have grown substantially over the past five years, with Asian/Oceania and GCC visitor markets expanding by 107% and 102% respectively since 2009. Visits from Europe have also surged by 82% over the past five years.
The tourism sector although in its early stages of development directly contributed QAR13.6 billion to the GDP in 2013, representing four percent of Qatar’s non-extraction economy. The total economic impact of tourism, including indirect contributions, tallied QAR28 b, comprising an 8.3% of Qatar’s non-extraction GDP.
Hotels experienced strong performance. Occupancy rates increased, with the average hotel occupancy rate reaching 73% last year compared to 65% in 2013. The largest gains were experienced by five-star hotels segment, which realised a surge of 71% compared to 61% in 2013.