Qatar’s tourism industry is experiencing a major boom, with the country welcoming 730,000 visitors in January and February 2023. This marks a significant increase of 347 percent from the same period in the previous year. In January, there were 340,000 international visitors, an increase of 295 percent compared to the same month in 2022. February saw even higher numbers, with 389,000 visitors, an increase of 406 percent from the previous year. February was also the busiest month for tourism in the past decade, with the exception of the months during the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Qatar has established itself as a leading tourism destination, with its high safety record, excellent public transport, pristine beaches, and cultural sites. The region has attracted tourists from all over the world, thanks to its successful campaigns and the hosting of world-class events. The year started with Qatar Tourism’s “Feel Winter” campaign, which included performances by celebrated regional and international artists, the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition, and other family-friendly events.
Doha, the Arab Tourism Capital of the year, hosted several world-class sporting events in the first two months of 2023, including the GKA Freestyle Kite World Cup, Qatar TotalEnergies Open, and Qatar ExxonMobil Open. These events attracted many visitors, contributing to the growth of Qatar’s tourism industry.
Berthold Trenkel, Chief Operating Officer at Qatar Tourism, said: “We are excited to see the progress we have made towards achieving our 2030 strategy, which aims to welcome 6-7 million visitors annually, increase employment in the sector, and have tourism account for 12 percent of the country’s GDP. Our performance also highlights Qatar’s growing reputation as a world-class destination for travelers seeking unique experiences and is a testament to the success of our ‘Feel Winter in Qatar’ campaign and ‘Feel More’ brand.”
The celebrations of Kuwait National Day and Saudi Founding Day in the second half of February led to a significant increase in the number of visitors arriving from both countries. Specifically, there were 86,000 arrivals from Saudi Arabia and 20,000 arrivals from Kuwait, which together constituted 73 percent of all arrivals from the GCC and 27 percent of all international arrivals in February.
Saudi Arabia stood as the biggest contributor, representing 22 percent of total visitors to the Peninsula in January and February 2023. With its continued success, Qatar’s tourism industry is well on its way to achieving its ambitious goals and becoming a top destination for travelers from all over the world.