Fifty hotels will open in Qatar in the next few months as the country prepares for an unprecedented influx of tourists for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Qatar Tourism said this augurs well for the country’s hospitality industry, which is already on the road to recovery. The occupancy rates of hotels in the first half of 2022 were virtually back to the pre-pandemic levels — 3.1 million hotel nights have been sold in the first six months of 2022, compared to 3.2 million hotel nights in the same period of 2019.
So far this year, Qatar has received 729,000 visitors, 19 percent more than the arrivals in all of 2021.Qatar Tourism said a combination of factors contributed to increasing the number of visitors to the country, especially various exhibitions and sporting events such as the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition, the Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix and the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 Qatar.Qatar Tourism confirmed to Qatar News Agency (QNA) that the football’s showcase event would indubitably enhance the country’s position as a tourist destination globally, especially since the Middle East is hosting the competition for the first time ever.
It added that expectations for the 2022 edition to be the biggest World Cup ever have prompted Qatar Tourism to continue working with its partners to develop its services, tourist experiences, and recreational activities to fulfil the visitors’ expectations , especially since they can become tourist ambassadors for the destination by sharing their journey to Qatar with their friends and families during this tournament.
The accomplishments made by Qatar in this regard were suitably acknowledged when His Highness the Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was awarded the Arab Tourism Necklace of Excellent Class from Arab Tourism.Experts and economists confirmed that Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup would evidently enhance the position of the country on the global tourism map as the country embraces mega projects and infrastructure.
Qatar Tourism also reviewed with (QNA) the tourism strategy set by Qatar, which intends to increase the number of visitors to six million annually by 2030. It also explained the methodology of achieving this objective by adopting a multi-faceted approach to further promote the tourist destination, in addition to boosting cooperation with the partners both in public and private sectors.Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tourist travel company, Ahmed Hussein said the significant surge in the number of visitors to Qatar can be attributed to a number of reasons — Qatar’s ability to reign in the COVID-19 pandemic; the development of the country’s comprehensive infrastructure in the tourism sector, and the establishment of new hospitality, shopping, cultural and educational facilities.
Hussein also highlighted the increase in the number of airlines operating in Qatar and the return of Gulf visitors as well as the close connection between the rise in the number of tourists, and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, stressing that Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup will put the country on the world tourism map.
Hussein said he expects more than 3 million tourists to visit Qatar by the end of 2022, noting that many visitors will attend to watch the events related to the World Cup, not just the championship itself, especially with Qatar granting visa-free entry for visitors of 80 countries.Chairman of the Board of Directors of Just real estate company, Nasser Hassan Al Ansari, ascribed the rise in the number of visitors to Qatar to the fact that Doha has become one of the most famous and fastest growing tourist destinations for its excellent tourist infrastructure, hotel systems with world-class brands, various museums, heritage and modern markets, as well as a distinguished road network, a modern airport that is the best in the Middle East, and a 5-star airline.Speaking to QNA, Al Ansari added that Qatar’s imminent hosting of the FIFA World Cup will play a major role from now in increasing the number of tourists to the country, especially with promotional campaigns for tourism in Qatar closely associated with the forthcoming huge sporting event.
He further noted that Qatar’s prestigious global position in various political, economic and security fields has made it a capital of peace and security and a global tourist destination, especially with its focus on boosting Arab heritage and identity, consolidating Islamic customs and values, and promoting the concept of history through Museums and many other destinations.
The number of visitors and tourists to Qatar will double with the approach of the World Cup Championship, he noted. He stressed that Qatar could transform into a global regional destination that appeals to tourists, especially in the post-World Cup era.FIFA President said earlier that just shy of 3 billion people would watch the World Cup, which leads Al Ansari to believe that about 40 million people could seek to visit Qatar again after the end of the global football event. Al Ansari added expected that 3 million tourists would visit Qatar in 2023, pointing out Qatar’s focus on family tourism, conference tourism, medical and sports tourism, will constitute an important addition to the Qatari economy and create many investment opportunities.
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