Qatar’s Travel & Tourism Sector Poised to Make Historic QAR 81 Billion Impact on Economy

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 2024 Economic Impact Research (EIR), Qatar’s Travel & Tourism sector achieved unprecedented milestones last year, with its GDP contribution, job creation, and domestic traveller expenditure surpassing previous records.

In the preceding year, the sector witnessed a remarkable 31% surge in GDP contribution, reaching an all-time high of QAR 81.2 billion, constituting 10.3% of the nation’s total economic output. This underscores the sector’s pivotal role in Qatar’s economic landscape.

Furthermore, the sector emerged as a crucial engine for employment, generating over 20,300 new jobs and elevating the nationwide total to nearly 286,000, representing one in every eight jobs in the country.

Domestic visitor spending also surged to a record QAR 1.4 billion. Despite hosting the FIFA World Cup the year prior and experiencing a nearly 40% increase in spending by international visitors to QAR 60.4 billion, it fell short of the previous peak by QAR 1.2 billion.

Outlook for 2024

This year, Qatar’s Travel & Tourism sector is poised to make its most significant contribution, expected to inject QAR 90.8 billion into the economy (11.3% of the total) and sustain over 334,500 jobs nationwide (15.8% of the total workforce).

Forecasts indicate a substantial increase in spending by international travellers, projected to hit a record QAR 69.6 billion, while domestic spending is expected to reach QAR 12 billion.

This success underscores the government’s commitment to fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors to enhance Qatar’s Travel & Tourism sector, offering diverse and immersive experiences for visitors.

Ms. Julia Simpson, President & CEO of WTTC, remarked, “Qatar’s Travel & Tourism sector is on track to achieve unprecedented growth this year, solidifying its position as a premier destination in the Middle East.”

Looking Ahead

WTTC forecasts that by 2034, the sector’s annual GDP contribution will exceed QAR 135 billion, constituting nearly 13% of Qatar’s economy, and is expected to employ nearly 458,000 people, with one in five residents working in the sector.

In the Middle East

In 2023, the Middle Eastern Travel & Tourism sector expanded by over 25% to nearly $460 billion, with job creation reaching nearly 7.75 million and international spending growing by 50% to $179.8 billion. Domestic visitor spending also surged by 16.5% to surpass $205 billion.

WTTC projects continued growth across the region in 2024, with GDP contribution expected to reach $507 billion. Jobs are forecasted to reach 8.3 million, while international visitor spending and domestic visitor spending are anticipated to exceed $198 billion and $224 billion, respectively.

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