About $45 billion in investments have been projected for tourism-related project in Qatar up to 2030, according to a report.

The projected investment in the tourism sector alone is $11.5 billion up to 2030, Issa bin Mohamed Al-Mohannadi, chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) was quoted as saying in the Gulf Times report.

“We are introducing the National Tourism Strategy 2030 to continue to develop Qatar as a destination while strengthening the tourism industry, which will have many socio-economic benefits on a national scale in addition to helping prepare for hosting the World Cup.”

With Qatar gearing up for FIFA World Cup 2022, the country will have to build more rooms and create a destination at the same time, said the report.

“By doing so, we are giving the local market and industry priority and we will bridge any gaps regarding FIFA requirements.  We are exploring options for temporary accommodation, such as cruise ships or floating hotels to ensure that there is an optimal balance between supply and demand for accommodation following the World Cup,” Al-Mohannadi was quoted as saying.

The growth in the number of visitors a year in Qatar has been one of the highest and the fastest in the region, he said.

“We are averaging an increase of 11 to 13 per cent in the number of visitors every year.  The world average is three to four and we are achieving four times that.  In line with FIFA’s requirements, we anticipate having 50,000 to 60,000 rooms.

“However, we are developing the local industry in line with demand.  We have to ensure we do not impact the private sector or local investors, so we will develop based on an organic demand in the market.”

Currently, Qatar has 14,000 rooms with another 5,000 expected to come to the market in the next four years.

“This will bring the total to 19,000 and based on demand we will add an additional 11,000 to bring the total to 30,000,” Al-Mohannadi was quoted as saying.

“We will cover the remainder for FIFA requirements through alternative options, such as cruise ships,” he said.

As the regulator, QTA is encouraging and educating the private sector on where best to invest, in line with the objectives of the strategy, which considers a larger role for the private sector in developing the industry, the report added.

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