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Friday, June 18, 2021

Revenues rise as Doha hotels attract more Gulf tourists

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Katara - Grant Matthews-Flickr

Doha hotels outperformed most of Qatar’s regional peers during the month of July, as the city emerged as a favored destination for Gulf tourists, according to a recently released report.

With occupancy rates up 5.5 percentage points on last July, and successful Ramadan iftar events boosting banquet sales, overall revenues for Doha hotels rose 15.2 percent from the same period in 2013.

This put the city ahead of key regional competitors such as Dubai, which struggled over the summer.

The latest HotStats survey by TRI Hospitality Consulting Middle East compared hotel performance across the Gulf and found that occupancy rates in Dubai dropped by 4.6 percentage points to 50.3 in July, due to a combination of the summer heat and Ramadan.

While still slightly higher overall than Doha’s 47.6 rate, Dubai’s hotels barely broke even during the month, as revenues particularly for food and drink took a hit.

Overall, the gross operating profit per available room for Doha hotels this year came to $53.22 – up from $28.51 in 2013. Dubai’s fell to $0.07, from $13.95 last year.

Peter Goddard, managing director of TRI Consulting, attributed Qatar’s success to its growing popularity as a holiday destination for other GCC residents:

“Doha was one of the strongest performing hotel markets in the region during July. The growth in top-line revenues was primarily due to a 5.5 percentage point rise in occupancy driven by increased regional leisure demand,” he said.

Tourism strategy

The news is sure to cheer the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), which has been working to woo more Gulf holiday makers.

Events such as international sporting events, the Souq Waqif Spring Festival and organized celebrations across Doha to mark Eid al-Fitr and Eid-Al Adha and the allure of the Museum of Islamic Art and Katara Cultural Village have helped to attract an increasing number of visitors.

Earlier this year, QTA launched its new national tourism strategy, which aims to attract some seven million visitors to Qatar by 2030 – a significant increase from 2012 figures, when there were 1.2 million travelers.

At the same time, QTA has also pledged to increase the number of people working in the tourism/hospitality industry exponentially, forecasting that figure to reach 127,000 in the coming 16 years.

As part of that plan, QTA has set up a dedicated tour guide training course with Stenden University Qatar.

The first batch of bilingual guides graduated earlier this summer, and are already set up at the Hamad International Airport. There are also plans afoot to open information booths at the Saudi border and the new port.

They were drilled in history of Qatar, knowledge of local tourist attractions, general tourism information, English language proficiency and advanced interpersonal relations.

Thoughts?

Note: This article was edited to correctly reflect that it is the revenue of Doha hotels which is up 15.2 percent, not profits as previously stated.

6 COMMENTS

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osamaalassiry
osamaalassiry
6 years ago

Omani tourist’s vlog post http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WKOspHl_R8

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Wouldn’t this be a good sector to employ Qataris to show off their country rather than bringing in more foreigners?

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

They had a big initiative a few years ago to Qatarize this industry. Problem is they made them all upper management. How can you manage something you have no idea how to do yourself? You need to start near the bottom and work your way up to learn the business. We all know that ain’t happening.

Anon
Anon
6 years ago

I think the increased profits are actually coming from the hardcore groups of Qatari drinkers who frequent the Marriott and W especially……..hic!

Michael L
Michael L
6 years ago

Lower occupancy rates in Doha but much higher profits …. This can only be attributable to higher prices and therefore poorer value for the consumer. This has certainly been my experience in Doha hotels as compared to hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael L

Need more drill down on the stats to compare apple for apple. Dubai has 350 more hotels than Doha to begin with. 477 vs 120, plus they have service charge and no kafala to motivate their employees.

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