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 Qatar’s Travel & Tourism Sector Contribution to GDP Grew by 31% in 2023

Qatar’s Travel & Tourism Sector Contribution to GDP Grew by 31% in 2023

 Qatar’s travel & tourism sector has reached new heights last year, with GDP contribution, jobs and domestic traveller spend all surpassing previous peaks in 2023, the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 2024 recent Economic Impact Research (EIR) showed.

The travel & tourism’s GDP contribution grew by 31% to reach a record-breaking $22.3 billion, representing 10.3% of Qatar’s total economic output, demonstrating the sector’s importance to the national economy, the report said.

The sector also proved to be a vital source of employment, creating more than 20,300 new jobs, and raising the total to nearly 286,000 nationwide, representing one in every eight jobs across the country. Domestic visitor spend was also stronger than ever to reach $380 million.

Yet despite holding the FIFA World Cup in the previous year and with spending by overseas visitors increasing by nearly 40% y-o-y to reach $16.59 billion, it was still behind the previous peak by $330 million, the report revealed.

Looking to 2024

In 2024, the travel & tourism sector is set to contribute an all-time high of $24.93 billion to the Qatari economy (11.3% of the total) and will support more than 334,500 jobs across the country (15.8% of the total workforce).

Spending by international travellers is expected to increase significantly this year, with forecasts indicating a record spend of $19.11 billion this year, while domestic spend is projected to reach $3.3 billion.

“This success is testament of the government’s commitment in prioritising collaboration between the public and private sectors to boost Qatar’s travel & tourism sector, creating diverse and immersive experiences for visitors,” WTTC said.

As part of these collaborative efforts, dedicated working groups across multiple industries have been established, with regular meetings planned to tackle challenges and leverage private sector expertise to drive the sector’s growth.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said that Qatar’s travel & tourism sector is poised to break records this year, highlighting its significance as a leading destination in the Middle East.

“While international visitor spending is lagging behind the previous peak, the government’s efforts and emphasis in collaboration will propel Qatar’s the sector’s growth, setting the stage to play a crucial role in the national economic landscape, promising a future defined by prosperity and opportunity,” Simpson said.

The global tourism body is forecasting that the sector will grow its annual GDP contribution to more than $37.07 billion by 2034, nearly 13% of Qatar’s economy, and is projected to employ nearly 458,000 people across the country, with one in five residents working in the sector.

Across the Middle East

The Middle Eastern travel & tourism sector grew by more than 25% in 2023 to reach almost $126.32 billion. As many as 7.75 million jobs were created as international spending grew by 50% to reach $179.8 billion while domestic visitor spending grew by 16.5% to reach more than $205 billion, WTTC report said.

WTTC is forecasting that travel & tourism across the region will continue to grow throughout 2024 with the GDP contribution set to reach $507 billion. Jobs are forecast to reach 8.3 million while the international visitor spending is forecast to reach $198 billion and domestic visitor spending is expected to reach more than $224 billion, the report added.

Global Business Magazine

Global Business Magazine

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