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Qatar visitors increase by half in February

Souq Waqif in Qatar. The country's tourism plans including shopping festivals as part of plans to reach increase visitor numbers to 6 million by 2030 Qatar Tourism
Souq Waqif in Qatar. The country aims to reach six million visitors per year by 2030
  • 53% more visitors
  • Tourism is 7% of GDP
  • Targeting 6 million tourists

Qatar reported a 53 percent increase in international visitors in February, according to official figures from the country’s tourism authority.

It follows a 106 percent rise in international arrivals in January as Qatar builds towards its ambitious target to welcome six million visitors in 2030. Last year Qatar’s visitor numbers passed four million.

In February 80,000 people arrived by sea, 232,000 by land and 285,000 by air.

Numbers are expected to remain high as the country looks to host more than 80 events this year including sports championships, cultural events, shopping festivals and international exhibitions and summits.

The positive momentum follows the success of the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 and the government’s efforts to bolster tourism.

Authorities want to increase the sector’s contribution to GDP from 7 percent to 12 percent by the end of the decade.

Top-tier accommodation is forecast to grow from 74 percent of the total last year to 78 percent by 2028, real estate consultancy Knight Frank predicts.

Room supply is forecast to reach 53,400 by 2028, including under-construction and planned developments. A further 14,400 keys will be added to its inventory in the next five years.

Qatar residents have also been boosting the coffers of countries across the world. According to Qatar Central Bank data, spending on tourism and travel abroad was up by a third last year to around QR60 billion ($16 billion).

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