Doha – Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has announced today it will host the first ever Qatar Summer Festival, which will commence immediately after Eid al Fitr holiday, from 4 August to 27 September 2014. The festival will give citizens, residents and visitors from the region an opportunity to enjoy various entertainment activities that will appeal to all ages, especially kids.
The festival will include evening water fountain shows on the Corniche; an Entertainment City at the Doha Exhibition Center; an inflatable Aqua Park in Al Wakra; outdoor activities such as bike riding, kayaking and other games in Al Khor; various activities in malls across Qatar including commercial sales and raffle draw and generous prizes; and a Disney On Ice show at the Qatar National Convention Center.
The festival is part of the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030, which was launched by QTA in cooperation with stakeholders in the public and private sectors. The strategy serves as a road map for the development of the tourism industry in Qatar and as a guide for QTA in its efforts to position Qatar as a world-class hub with deep cultural roots. QTA plays a key role in the effort to develop a sustainable tourism sector in Qatar and increase the tourism sector’s contribution to a diversified national economy.
Rashed Al Qurese, Director of Marketing and Promotions of QTA, said: “Qatar Summer Festival 2014 is part of QTA’s efforts to make Qatar the best tourist destination for families in the region. Through the summer festival we will offer quality performances to present Qatar’s various entertainment options and warm hospitality.”
He added: “Through our efforts we seek to stimulate the tourism sector and enhance its role in the national economy. We support owners of tourist facilities and all other stakeholders in the tourism sector, adding value to their efforts and helping them promote their offerings at home
and abroad.” Tourist data released by QTA on the results of the first quarter of 2014 revealed continued growth in Qatar’s tourism industry, with the total number of visitors from all parts of the world rising by 26%, and from Kuwait by a staggering 42%. Hotel occupancy also rose by more than 10% compared to the same period last year.
The total number of regional and international visitors in the first quarter reached 387,022 people, representing a 9% year-on-year increase. Visitors increased from most corners of the globe, with particularly good performance coming from within the GCC countries. Overall, GCC tourists were up by 5%, with Saudi Arabia being the largest single source of visitors with 188,621 visitors.
The average hotel occupancy rate rose from 68% to 75%, assisted by the 1.9% decrease in available rooms from 13,551 in Q1 2013 to 13,251 in Q1 2014 due to renovation-related closures. Total revenue at 4 and 5 -star hotels increased by 5.4%, reaching a total of QR999.4 million for the quarter. For the first time, QTA included 3-star revenue data in the quarterly report, with total revenue reaching QR1 million in a growing area of the hotel market.