Increased occupancy in Qatar attributed to QTA

Hotels believe occupancies will hold despite new offerings

Qatar Tourism Authority chairman Ahmed Al Nuaimi
Qatar Tourism Authority chairman Ahmed Al Nuaimi

The hotel sector in Qatar has showed a rise of two points in average occupancy rates, as well as an increase in revenue for four and five-star hotels during the first half of 2010, said a report by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).

The figures, which put occupancy rates at 61% for the first half of 2010 compared to 59% for the same period during 2009, have been praised by QTA, which attributed the rise in occupancy to state efforts to increase tourism activities and the continuous expansion of Qatar Airways.

Qatar Tourism Authority chairman Ahmed Al Nuaimi said: “Our outreach and promotion campaigns have been focused on reaching the MICE industry, and high end travellers. Qatar Tourism Authority launched a ’48 hours’ campaign in early 2010, and promoted this campaign on a roadshow in Europe in February 2010 and will repeat it in Asia in October 2010.

“In addition to this, QTA feels that promoting domestic tourism is important and therefore we are organising more events for local residents such as cultural activities, entertainment festivities, indoor and outdoor amusement parks, trade fairs and shopping festivals.”

Al Nuaimi also reported the expansion of investments planned in the hotel field, with 42 hotels set to open by the end of 2010 with an estimated capacity of 6731 rooms and 1573 hotel units.

W Doha Hotels and Residences general manager Safak Guvenc commented on the pipeline: “Last year the average occupancy in Doha experienced a significant drop because of the global financial crisis, but this year the situation has shown a lot of improvement. The new hotels that are opening in the city are sure to increase competition, but there are many other positive factors that will offset and ultimately overshadow any challenges that the market might experience”.

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