28% increase year-on-year.. Qatar Tourism: 2.6 million visitors in the first half

Written By Mark

Saudi Arabia is the largest contributor to the number of international visitors at 29%
The impressive visitor numbers and the distinguished and advanced tourism infrastructure reflect
Doha has become a preferred tourist destination at the regional and global levels.

The number of visitors to the State of Qatar exceeded two million and six hundred thousand visitors by the end of the first half of this year, an increase estimated at about 28.5% compared to the same period in 2023, which reflects the good performance of the tourism sector thanks to the various attractions that Qatar abounds with throughout the year, such as the leading landmarks and tourist destinations, the events and festivals that are organized, in addition to the authentic Arab hospitality for which it is famous.

Statistics issued by Qatar Tourism on its official website showed that the total number of visitors reached 2 million and 639 thousand visitors, while in last June the number of visitors reached 317 thousand, an increase of 12% compared to June 2023.
During the first six months of 2024, the number of visitors arriving in Qatar by air reached 1,329,000 people, representing 51% of the total number of visitors, while 1,054,000 visitors arrived by land, representing 40% of the total number of visitors, and about 231,000 visitors arrived by sea, representing 9% of the total.

Gulf visitors
According to Qatar Tourism statistics by the end of June, Saudi Arabia is still the largest contributor to the number of international visitors to Qatar this year, with more than 755,000 visitors coming from there, representing 29% of the total visitors coming to the country, while Bahrain ranked second in the Gulf with 123,000 visitors, representing 5%, while Kuwait came in third with 98,000 visitors, representing 4%, the Sultanate of Oman with 97,000 visitors, also representing 4%, and the United Arab Emirates with 76,000 visitors, representing 3% of the total number of visitors.

Top Markets
In terms of visitors from other countries, the top 5 visitor markets were India with 212,000 visitors (8%), the United Kingdom with 99,000 visitors (4%), Germany with 95,000 visitors (4%), the United States of America with 92,000 visitors (3%), and Italy with 48,000 visitors (2%).
The increase in visitor flows is due to the campaigns launched by Qatar Tourism, which were promoted in key markets, in addition to the calendar of permanent and world-class events that have been organized throughout the country since the beginning of the year, through which it has maintained its position as a preferred tourist destination for different nationalities. The distinguished numbers of Gulf visitors reflect Qatar’s distinguished and advanced tourism infrastructure, as well as its tourist facilities, including hotels, restaurants, parks and beaches. The huge numbers of visitors, especially from Gulf citizens, confirm Qatar’s leadership in tourism, as it has imposed itself on the international tourism map.

Safe and preferred destination
The figures confirm that Doha has become a safe and preferred tourist destination at the regional and global levels, especially with the hosting of many entertainment events and the hosting of a wonderful group of cultural events, sports championships, intellectual conferences, and others in 2024, most notably the 18th edition of the 2023 Asian Cup, in addition to Expo 2023 Doha, the first international horticultural exhibition to be held in the region, the Qatar Shopping Festival 2024, the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition, in addition to the Web Summit – WSQ, the largest technology conference in the world, held for the first time in the Middle East and Africa region, with more than 80 events included in Qatar’s events calendar, continuing throughout the year in conjunction with Qatar’s rapid growth as a leading tourist destination.
The current year’s cruise season in the State of Qatar witnessed a significant increase, receiving 73 cruise ships and more than 378,000 visitors, recording an increase of 38 percent compared to the previous season.

Promote the sector
Qatar Tourism aims to develop this vital sector, which is a fundamental pillar in diversifying the national economy and enhancing Qatar’s position on the international tourism map, and to achieve the desired goals, including reaching 6 million visitors by 2030, and raising the tourism sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product from 7% to 12%.
Qatar Tourism’s vision to advance the sector is supported by the country’s many advantages, such as traditional markets, unique museums, an advanced public transport network, luxury hotels, resorts and shopping malls, an international airport that won the “Best Airport in the World” award this year for the third time in 5 years and the best in the Middle East for seven consecutive years, a national carrier that flies to more than 170 destinations around the world, in addition to hosting 128 modern meeting and conference facilities.
Qatar’s tourism policies focus on improving the visitor experience by providing high-quality services, developing tourism facilities, enhancing security and safety, as well as adopting innovation and using technology to enhance efficiency and improve the tourist experience through a variety of categories, most notably cultural, sports, family and entertainment tourism, business and conference tourism, medical and environmental tourism.
Qatar Tourism is also constantly working to develop the infrastructure and tourism facilities to meet visitors’ expectations and ensure a unique experience that suits everyone’s needs and capabilities.

Gulf praise
In turn, a number of visitors to Qatar from the GCC countries praised the great development and qualitative leap that Doha has witnessed in the past few years in terms of infrastructure, streets, services and means of transportation, in addition to the diversity of tourist facilities that have been established recently, especially the old Doha Port, Msheireb City, Lusail and shopping malls that have become more modern and diverse and include the most luxurious global brands and trademarks, stressing that Qatar has become a major destination for many Gulf families and youth who find it a distinctive and beloved tourist destination, especially with the generous hospitality, reception and welcome they receive from the Qatari people.
They pointed out that the remarkable development witnessed by Qatar in the tourism sector did not prevent it from preserving the Arab and Islamic customs and traditions that distinguish it, as is the case with the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, which made it a destination for a large segment of brothers who seek privacy in the tourist countries that they seek to visit constantly.

Hotel recovery
For their part, a number of hotel sector officials confirmed that the great turnout of guests from the GCC countries to Qatar has contributed mainly to enhancing the occupancy rates of hospitality establishments, thanks to the efforts of the state, represented by Qatar Tourism, to support the efforts of the tourist flow by providing events and activities throughout the year, especially during seasons and holidays.
They said that the hotel sector has proven its ability to impose itself as one of the most prominent components of the tourism industry by acquiring a large share of guests, noting that the hotel sector occupancy rates in the first half of this year ranged between 65% and 85%.