Qatar: Biggest tourist magnet in Arab world
Qatar is set to see the fastest growth in tourism this year, with the World Travel & Tourism Council forecasting 13.2 percent growth. The WTTC said in a statement that Qatar will grow fastest at 13.2 percent while Syria will likely see another dramatic fall, projected at 20.5 percent, as the political situation worsens, increasing concerns over security. For Syria, it represents a huge decline after the country attracted 14 percent of all international arrivals in the Middle East in 2010, second only to Saudi Arabia.
Last month, STR Global data said Qatar's tourism sector was likely to see a near 70 percent growth in hotels, the largest in the Middle East and Africa. Qatar is expected to see a near 70 percent rise in hotel rooms’ supply.
Among the countries in the region, Qatar reported the largest expected growth up 69.9 percent if all 7,340 rooms in the country’s total active pipeline open.
The Middle East & Africa hotel development pipeline for January comprised a total of 495 hotels totaling 131,981 rooms, according to STR Global's construction pipeline report. According to the WTTC's latest research, the tourism industry’s direct contribution to the global economy should exceed $2trn in GDP and 100 million jobs this year. This contribution to GDP would represent a growth of 2.8 percent, marginally faster than the global rate of economic growth, predicted to be 2.5 percent.