Tourism sector experts and observers expected an increase in hotel occupancy rates by 70 to 80 percent during the blessed Eid Al Fitr holiday, following the launch of the Haya platform in its new look, which allows 4 types of visas for visitors, and the intention of Qatar Tourism to implement a rich calendar of entertainment activities as well as special promotions and special offers by the country’s hotels and tourism facilities.
This comes after the State of Qatar’s recovery from the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the return of life to normal and the recent strong hosting of major international events, on top of which is the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, as these factors collectively contributed to improving the performance of the local hotels and tourism sector and enhanced the quality of its operations, encouraging many to make Doha their tourist destination to spend their holidays, especially the current Eid Al-Fitr holiday to enjoy the various entertainment programs usually held here during the period of religious and national holidays.
Tourism expert Ahmed Hussein said that facilitating the entry of visitors to Qatar through the Haya platform, which offers a package of visas, will lead to an influx of tourists to the country, reflecting positively on hotel occupancy and raising occupancy rates from 70 percent to 80 percent during the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.
Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), he stressed that the prepared calendar of activities and events will activate the tourism sector in all its branches, including hotels, restaurants, hospitality and other recreational facilities.
As part of its strategy to strengthen its position as a leading global tourism destination, the State of Qatar aims to attract 6 million visitors annually and raise the contribution of the tourism sector to the gross domestic product to 12 percent by 2030.
According to Qatar Tourism data, the total number of visitors to Qatar jumped during the months of January and February of this year by 347 percent on an annual basis to 730,000 visitors compared to the same period last year, which confirms that Qatar has maintained the tourism momentum achieved by hosting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Data indicates that the State of Qatar started the new year by registering 340,000 visitors in January 2023, an increase of 295 percent on an annual basis, and continued to attract visitors to reach 389,000 visitors last February, a record increase of 406 percent, compared to the same period last year. These figures reflect Qatar’s tourist attraction as a destination for visitors from all over the world.
According to the recent data from the Planning and Statistics Authority, hotel occupancy rates in last February amounted to an average of 57 percent on an annual basis compared to 56 percent in the same period last year. The occupancy rate for five-star hotels reached 57 percent in February compared to 49 percent in the same month last year.
In the same context, tourist expert Ali Sabri said that Qatar started this year with ambitious plans for the tourism sector, pointing to an increase in the number of visitors to the country since January 2023, confirming that Qatar has become a global tourist hotspot.
In an exclusive statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), he pointed out that Qatar’s high ranking on the safest countries index as well as its entertainment and recreational facilities make Qatar a favorite family tourism destination for visitors from all over the world. He noted that hotels are likely to experience an increase in the number of tourists and residents during the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, raising hotel occupancy rate to around 80 percent.
The remaking and launch of the Hayya platform in its new look are expected to constitute a strong impetus for the tourism sector and to increase the flow of tourists to Qatar. The platform offers 4 visa types: tourist visa for holders of any nationality, GCC Resident visa for all professions, as well as the visa for escorts of GCC citizens and the electronic Travel Authorization visa known as eTA, which is without restrictions and is for all visa holders and residences of the countries of the Americas, Canada, Schengen countries, Britain, New Zealand and Australia.
Those wishing to visit Qatar, can now apply for a visa using a single platform, through which they can submit their visa applicant and receive their visa, with Hayya app offering all kinds of tourist information and services, such as maps, means of transport, happenings in Qatar, in addition to exclusive discounts offered on the platform.
Visas on the Hayya platform are only suitable for touristic purposes and are not meant for work purposes, with duration of stay being calculated based on the period and the countries from which the visitor is visiting, with the duration of stay starting from 30 days.
As for the visa processing time, it will depend on the number of applications received at a given moment, however, the processing period is planned to be set at no more than 48 hours in most cases.
Qatar Tourism announced an entertainment and events program for the Eid in Qatar campaign, in cooperation with Qatar Airways. The program is scheduled for April 21-23. The Residents and visitors of Qatar will enjoy a festive atmosphere and an array of entertainment events, including music concerts for some of the Arab world’s biggest singers and artists, in addition to spectacular children’s shows and performances.
Doha will host the famous and popular children’s show Shaun the Sheep over a period of 3 days at the Lusail Multipurpose Hall. Additionally, a sports festival and live entertainment will be organized by famous artists in the Asian city. As for accommodation, visitors to and residents of Qatar who wish to spend the Eid holidays in the country have plenty accommodation options to choose from, offered by Qatar’s diverse and luxurious group of world-class hotels.
Following the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the State of Qatar is moving steadily towards the future by manifesting its National Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the national economy, with the tourism sector being at the forefront of that vision, raising its contribution to the gross domestic product from 7 percent to 12 percent, in addition to doubling job opportunities in the sector. Therefore, continuous efforts are being made to advance Qatar’s position as a leading global destination for service excellence. Doha was selected as Arab Tourism Capital for 2023 by the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism, which is yet an additional step towards consolidating Qatar’s position as an attractive tourist destination.
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