(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Qatar is on track to hit 2.9mn visitors in 2023 with tourism helping to drive the country's non-oil recovery this year, Oxford Economics has said in a report.
“Qatar attracted 2.56mn tourists last year, and we consider the number of visitors on track to hit 2.9mn in 2023. Data show there were nearly 1.5mn foreign arrivals from January to April,” Oxford Economics said in its latest country report.
Recently, Qatar Tourism revealed that Qatar received more than 2mn visitors during the first half of 2023.
International arrivals in 2023 have so far doubled compared to the levels seen pre-pandemic. The statement showed that during the first half of 2023, arrivals by air constituted 51% of all visitors to Qatar, while arrivals by land and sea made up 37% and 12% of the total figures, respectively.
According to Qatar Tourism, the positive momentum of exciting events throughout the country is set to continue for the remainder of the year, with highly anticipated events coming up such as the Geneva International Motor Show, Formula 1, and Expo Doha 2023.
In an earlier media interaction in Doha Qatar Tourism Chairman HE Akbar al-Baker said Qatar's national tourism strategy sought to welcome over 6mn visitors a year by 2030.
“Qatar's tourism sector goes from strength to strength. Already, Qatar is considered the most open country in terms of vfacilitation in the Middle East and the 8th most open globally, with more than 95 nationalities granted von arrival,” al-Baker had noted.
“We are pleased that the latest developments will further cement Qatar's position as a leading tourism destination and will provide the opportunity for even more travellers to experience the country's truly unique touristic offering.
“This will not only provide a valuable contribution to our economy but will help create countless employment opportunities across our country,” al-Baker added.
Oxford Economics highlighted that Qatar's non-oil activity boosts the economy and noted some $200bn has been spent on infrastructure, partly relating to the 2022 football World Cup, and partly to an expanding population and the country's long-term strategy, National Vision 2030.
In addition, Qatar is developing into a significant regional financial and educational centre, Oxford Economics said.
A heavy investment and diversification strategy has transformed Qatar's economy, driving a doubling of GDP and exports in five years and producing budget and current account surpluses until the downturn in the oil price in 2015, Oxford Economics noted.
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