Doha, Qatar: The World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 2024 Economic Impact Research (EIR) has forecast that the Qatar Travel and Tourism sector will contribute QR90.8bn to the country’s economy, representing 11.3% of the total, and will provide more than 334,500 jobs across the country, which is 15.8% of the total workforce.

In 2023 the Gross domestic product (GDP) contribution of the travel and tourism sector grew by 31% to reach a record-breaking QR81.2bn, representing 10.3% of Qatar’s total economic output. This growth underscores the sector’s significance to the national economy.

The sector also serves as an important source of employment, creating over 20,300 new jobs last year, bringing the total to nearly 286,000 nationwide.

“Spending by international travellers is expected to increase significantly this year, with forecasts indicating a record spend of QR69.6bn this year, while domestic spending is projected to reach QR12bn,” the report said.

WTTC President and CEO, Julia Simpson, said: “Qatar’s Travel and Tourism sector is poised to break all records this year, highlighting its significance as a leading destination in the Middle East. The government’s efforts and emphasis in collaboration will propel Qatar’s Travel and Tourism growth, setting the stage to play a crucial role in the national economic landscape, promising a future defined by prosperity and opportunity.”

Qatar’s tourism sector has witnessed robust growth in recent years. According to Qatar Tourism’s latest data, from January to April this year, the number of international arrivals steadily increased, except for March.

In January, the country received 703,000 visitors, a 106% increase compared to last year.

In February, 596,000 visitors, a 53% increase; in March, 329,000 visitors, a -24% decrease; and in April, 382,000 visitors, an 18% increase. The main point of entry for travellers is by air, followed by land and sea. Qatar aims to welcome six million tourists by 2030 and increase the sector’s contribution to GDP from 7% to 12%. With the country surpassing four million visitors in 2023, exceeding annual visitor numbers from the past five years, these objectives seem well within reach.

Another factor that will contribute to the increase in travellers coming to Qatar this year is the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Grand Tours visa. This multi-entry visa allows travellers to move freely among the six GCC countries: Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain.

Travellers will be able to seamlessly travel and will have the freedom to spend over 30 days in the countries included in the visa. The system is expected to be implemented by the end of the year, as government efforts continue to strengthen ties and prepare the financial infrastructure for the convenience of travellers.

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