Posted on August 15, 2014

Qatar received more than 136,000 visitors from the GCC countries during Ramadan and nearly 100,000 during the Eid al-Fitr celebrations, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has announced. At an awards ceremony held at Doha Exhibition Centre (DEC) yesterday, a senior official also said occupancy rates of leading five- and four-star hotels, as well as hotel apartments, in Qatar reached 90% during the peak days of Eid.

“The results of the Ramadan in Qatar and Eid in Qatar activities, in terms of hotel occupancy rates and number of visitors to Qatar were indeed impressive, exceeding our expectations,” said Hassan al-Ibrahim, chief tourism development officer at QTA. Comparing the figures from the previous year, he noted that more than 75,000 visitors from the GCC countries visited Qatar during Eid al-Fitr in 2013.

He noted that the numbers for Ramadan and Eid in Qatar reflected the continuous growth of the country’s expanding tourism sector, with the number of GCC visitors increasing by 5% in the first quarter of 2014. Al-Ibrahim also said festivals in the country provided families and the region with an opportunity to participate in several entertaining and fun-filled activities that were lined up to suit people of all ages.

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QTA has earlier opened the Entertainment City at DEC, which attracted a large number of visitors. The fountain show on the Corniche was also a huge draw. “All data released shows that the tourism industry in Qatar continues on its strong upward trajectory,” said al-Ibrahim, adding that both the Ramadan and Eid activities proved to be a huge success with the number of citizens, residents and GCC visitors attending the various activities exceeding all expectations.

Al-Ibrahim said people from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait topped the list of visitors during these festivities. The festivals were facilitated by QTA in partnership with both the private and public sectors to promote Qatar as a preferred family destination in the region with recreational and cultural tourism offerings that appeal to Gulf tourists.

“We see tourism as one of the pillars of the ever-expanding Qatari economy and one of the important industries in leading Qatar’s efforts to diversify the economy,” he noted, stressing that an annual increase in the number of tourists and tourism investment projects 
is constantly contributing to the Gross Domestic Product.

He attributed the continuous growth to the implementation of the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030. These included the promotional campaign launched in neighbouring countries weeks before the activities to attract nationals and residents of the Gulf countries. Further, al-Ibrahim said QTA promotes Qatar in the region and globally as an emerging tourism destination and works through partnerships with stakeholders to develop a mature and sustainable tourism sector in Qatar.

source: Gulf Times