- Special Pages
DOHA: Qatar’s $65bn commitment to infrastructure development has proved to be a major incentive for long term investment by leading hospitality providers, according to market analysts.
The country is entering a sustained decade-long period of development and growth, with over 85,000 new hotel rooms set to bolster current inventory by 2022. Alpen Capital’s October 2012 GCC Hospitality Industry Report highlighted the ‘slow but steady’ growth in tourism receipts, which saw a compound annual growth rate (CAGR)of 15.9 percent in the period 2002 to 2011.
“Tourist arrivals in Qatar are expected to rise at a CAGR of 1.9 percent between now and 2022, and the government’s $65 billion commitment to infrastructure development has proved to be a major incentive for long term investment by leading hospitality providers,” said Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
In 2012, the capital added to its upscale inventory, with the opening of the St Regis Doha and new InterContinental Doha The City, as well as the country’s first Hilton hotel. A second Four Seasons hotel is currently under development and budget brands are making an appearance with the popular Premier Inn chain debuting on the city outskirts later this year. Currently the luxury segment accounts for between 66 and 78 percent of supply while, mid-scale and economy supply is between 22 and 34 percent.
Qatar has an exceptionally strong presence at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) show with major organisations such as Qatar Tourism Authority, Katara Hospitality and Qatar Airways all participating.
“Katara Hospitality alone has more than 4,000 hotel rooms already operational or under construction and with the introduction of more and more budget properties, Qatar is committed to the development of a well-rounded tourism product in line with the 2030 national vision for a sustainable economy,” he added.
Hotel room capacity in Qatar is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.1 percent over the next five years, hitting $1.1bn by 2016, up from $0.6bnin 2011. The country’s national carrier, Qatar Airways will launch six new routes in H1 2013, growing its current network to 123 key destinations. Ground has also been broken on the new $14m Doha metro network.
“As world-class infrastructure projects gives rise to new economic opportunity, with tourist arrivals expected to reach as a many as 3.7m by 2022, Qatar will see a transition from a predominantly business-led visitor profile to a stronger business-leisure mix with the football World Cup a milestone marker for the hospitality and tourism industry,” commented Walsh.
The line-up for this year’s Arabian Travel Market will once again bring together the UNWTO regional tourism ministers’ conference and the WTM Vision forum, which will focus on Middle East travel trends and the online travel market.