The leisure tourism is gaining prominence, through which hotel sector is slated to strengthen in Qatar, where recovery in tourist numbers, post-pandemic, is likely to be focused on the delivery of new resorts, attractions, and leisure facilities, according to Cushman & Wakefield Qatar (CWQ).
CWQ highlighted this in its latest report that also said the ADRs, or average daily rates, in the country’s hospitality sector for the first two months of this year stood at QR364, matching the pre-pandemic levels.
"The importance of leisure tourism to Qatar has increased over the past year as the increasing reliance on online meeting facilities is likely to have a prolonged impact on global and regional business travel," it said in a report.
The report also said the hospitality sector is expected to see recovery in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) from where visitors made up almost 50% of arrivals in the past.
"While we expect to see a significant boost in visitor numbers, particularly from Saudi Arabia, any potential return to pre-blockade performance is unlikely until Covid-19 vaccinations are at a more advanced stage and quarantine restrictions are eased throughout the region," CWQ said.
Quoting the data released by the Planning and Statistics Authority, CWQ said the ADRs for the first two months of this year stood at QR364, matching the pre-pandemic levels.
According to the National Tourism Council (NTC)’s annual report, the ADRs for hotels in Qatar were QR360 and QR371 for the first two months of 2020, which mirrored 2019 performance.
These rates significantly dropped following the introduction of lockdown measures in March; however, revenues recovered during the year due to a surge in domestic reservations after lockdown measures were eased.
The report said several hotels throughout Qatar have been used as quarantine facilities for people travelling to Qatar, temporarily reducing the overall supply of available rooms.
Last year, Qatar’s tourism sector enjoyed a solid start to the year with a 33% increase in year-on-year performance in January and February; however, the industry was significantly damaged by the onset of the Covidf19 pandemic in March.
"A 73% decline in visitor numbers resulted in an 18% fall in occupancy rates and a 22% fall in revenue per room over the entire year," it said.
As the pandemic continued into its second year, the PSA data showed a year-on-year fall in occupancy in January 2021 by 13% to 53% but occupancy recovered to 66% in February – comparable with the pre-pandemic levels in February last year.