Increasing popularity of hotel apartments for long stay and ‘staycations’ has painted a rosy picture on Qatar’s hospitality sector, where 15,000 hotel keys are at various stages of planning and construction, according to DTZ Qatar, a member of the global real estate services business group Cushman and Wakefield. Since the blockade, there has been an increase in the domestic tourism, especially in five-star establishments, while an increase in the requirements for overnight stays from business travellers in the region has helped support occupancy rates during the week, DTZ said in a report, highlighting that occupancy rates in hotels have remained relatively “stable”.
“The increasing popularity of hotel apartments for long-stay guests has also helped to boost overall occupancy rates,” DTZ officials said, presenting an overview of the country’s real estate during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018.Highlighting the initiatives taken by the NTC (National Tourism Council) to boost the hotel sector, including the introduction of e-visas, free 96-hour transit visas, and visa-free arrivals for more than 80 countries, it said the sustained effort to concentrate on alternative tourist markets since 2016 has seen an increase in arrivals from China, Russia and India, which is now Qatar’s largest market.
The overall supply of hotel keys reached about 26,500 by Q4, 2018, with the opening of Centara in West Bay and La Castle Hotel in Msheireb. This reflects an increase in supply of approximately 5% for the year. DTZ expects supply to increase “significantly” in the first half of 2019, as a number of establishments, which were slated for a 2018 completion, have experienced minor delays and are expected to open in the coming months. Overall, the hospitality sector in Qatar is dominated by luxury accommodation with more than 85% of overall supply currently categorised as either four-star or five-star. DTZ estimates that as many as 15,000 hotel keys are at various stages of planning and construction, and will be completed prior to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Sources and photo-credits: Gulf Times