Qatar diplomatic crisis = Big drop for tourist arrivals

4

Qatar is having a diplomatic crisis, and it is affecting tourism. Qatar has recorded a drop of 18 % in visitors from neighboring countries as opposed to the numbers of last ear where 804,875 people visited in 2017 but only 656,681 people have visited this year.

Qatar’s hospitality sector has shown record weak performance after a diplomatic crisis has continued to worsen after 4 months. The diplomatic crisis has not only affected travel schedules but also has impacted visitor arrivals from nearby Arab states at almost 9 percent by officials.

Apart from the hospitality sector, the severance of diplomatic ties has affected the trade, tourism and banking in Qatar and has thus increased the country’s financing costs.

To save up on finances the country has also recently merged their largest LNG companies to reduce their operation costs as demand from nearby Arab countries has been cut short.

The Qatar Tourism Authority in its latest tourism report said: “May and June saw a drop in arrivals, partly due to slowdown typically seen during Ramadan, which this year fell between May 25 and June 24, and as a result of the regional diplomatic dispute, with large falls in arrivals from GCC and other Arab countries.”

“Undoubtedly, the diplomatic dispute with three neighboring countries has had a negative impact on visitor arrivals during the summer months, rendering them slower than usual,” Hassan Al-Ibrahim, the agency’s chief tourism development officer noted in the report.

This report is important not cause the hospitality sector brings in foreign money but because Qatar hopes to achieve larger tourist numbers and residents to increase the country’s stature before the 2022 World Cup. Qatar has opened three new properties comprising of 1,244 new rooms. The additional rooms by Qatar’s consultancy firm STR were supposed to a 6 percent growth to the existing supply of rooms.

Despite everything the country is boosting efforts to develop more hotels and finish the construction of the seven football stadiums.