The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has rolled out the first-ever Qatar Summer Festival, which commenced immediately after Eid al Fitr. The festival will run from 4 August to 27 September 2014.
The festival will include evening water fountain shows on the Corniche; an Entertainment City at the Doha Exhibition Center; an inflatable Aqua Park in Al Wakra; outdoor activities such as bike riding, kayaking and other games in Al Khor, various activities across the malls and a Disney On Ice show at the Qatar National Convention Center.
The festival is part of the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030. Rashed Al Qurese, director of marketing and promotions of QTA, said: “Qatar Summer Festival 2014 is part of QTA’s efforts to make Qatar the destination for families in the region. Through the summer festival, we will offer quality performances to present Qatar’s various entertainment options and warm hospitality.”
Tourist data released by QTA on the results of the first quarter of 2014 revealed continued growth in Qatar’s tourism industry, with total number of visitors from all parts of the world rising by 26%, and from Kuwait by a staggering 42%. Hotel occupancy also rose by more than 10% compared to the same period last year.
The total number of regional and international visitors in the first quarter reached 387,022 people, representing a 9% year-on-year increase. Visitors increased from most corners of the globe, with particularly good performance coming from within the GCC countries. Overall, GCC tourists were up by 5%, with Saudi Arabia being the largest single source of visitors with 188,621 visitors.
The average hotel occupancy rate rose from 68% to 75%, assisted by the 1.9% decrease in available rooms from 13,551 in Q1 2013 to 13,251 in Q1 2014 due to renovation-related closures. Total revenue at 4 and 5 -star hotels increased by 5.4%, reaching a total of QR999.4 million for the quarter. For the first time, QTA included 3-star hotel revenue data in the quarterly report, with total revenue reaching QR1 million in a growing area of the hotel market.