Qatar Tourism says that the number of visitors to the country rose to a record 151,000 visitors in July, the highest ever and also the highest number for any summer month in the Gulf nation since 2017. It also represents a 297 pc rise in arrivals as compared to July 2021.
The number of tourist arrivals in the country has bounced back strongly in 2022 compared to the past two years when the Covid-19 pandemic had brought travel around the entire world to a grinding halt.
While July may have seen a record number of arrivals, the number is set to shoot through the sky later in the year as the FIFA Football World Cup 2022 gets underway in Qatar. For the period of just about a month, Qatar Tourism is expecting to draw over 1.2 million football fans from all around the world, making 2022 a bounty year for the entire hospitality and tourism industry in the Gulf nation.
In order to make travel to the country easier for those preparing to visit for the World Cup in November, Qatar’s government has also updated its Covid-19 requirements for incoming travellers, removing its red travel list and mask mandate. According to the new rules now, visitors to Qatar should present a negative PCR test result, valid for 48 hours, or a negative rapid antigen test result, valid for 24 hours.
The easing of the travel rules comes on the heels of the launch of Qatar Tourism’s new stopover campaign featuring David Beckham. Also, to prepare for the record-breaking numbers expected later this year, Qatar is adding 105 new hotels and serviced apartments to its already extensive portfolio of properties. New hotels include the recently opened Pullman Doha West Bay and The Double Tree by Hilton Downtown Hotel, both of which opened on August 1. October will see another rush of 5-star hotel openings as Wyndham, Rixos and St Regis are all set to start receiving guests in their landmark properties, just in time for the World Cup. Also on the anvil are The Outpost Al Barari that opens in November and Katara Hills LXR Hotels & Resorts with 15 luxury villas, each equipped with private pools.
Other major upcoming tourism developments in the country include the Doha Winter Wonderland, a sister event to the famous Hyde Park event, Fuwairit Kite Beach – a state-of-the-art kitesurfing resort, Qetaifan Island North – dubbed the first “Entertainment Island” in Qatar, and West Bay North Beach Project – a new premium beachfront in the heart of Doha.