Probably you remember that in 2015 I reported about the construction of the development of the Qatar International Golf Club (now it is called Education City Golf Club) in the heart of Doha.
The project comprises an 18-hole championship golf course, an innovative floodlit 6-hole championship course, a floodlit 9-hole par-3 course all designed by two-time major winner Jose Maria Olazabal. In addition to these golf courses, golfers will find also:
- High-tech TrackMan driving range and practice facilities,
- The Centre of Excellence has a state-of-the-art learning and practice facility for golf development,
- Clubhouse and academy building which will both offer all-day dining options.
- Public park where a number of lawn sports will be available.
As the soft opening of the golf club is coming in October this year, ten of Discover Qatar’s (the destination management subsidiary arm of Qatar Airways) sales team was recently invited to the Education City Golf Club. This was the golf club’s 1st familiarization (FAM) trip.
Discover Qatar is one of the world’s leading inbound tourism providers for transit passengers. Hopefully, the Education City Golf Club will be included in one of the Discover Qatar transit tours.
The Discover Qatar transit tours are offered to those passengers who spend at least 6-12 hours transfer time at Hamad International Airport.
So in addition or instead of visiting the Pearl-Qatar, or the Katara Cultural Village, or the Souq Waqif, and the Museum of Islamic Art, they could play golf or take some golf lessons.
Education City Golf Club & Tourism Industry Performance of Qatar
The total visitor arrivals fell by 38% in Q1 2018, representing a drop of 329,142 visitors (source: Tourism Performance Report, Q1 2018 by the Qatar Tourism Authority) compared to Q1 2017, arrivals increased in all but two regions (Gulf Cooperation Council and Other Arab) in the first three months of the year.
Arrivals of Gulf Cooperation Council nationals (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, and Kuwait) fell by 86% (-340,228) and Other Arab nationals fell by 52% (-33,580).
The decline in visits by Gulf Cooperation Council and Other Arab nationals across the first quarter is attributed in Qatar to the blockade which began in June 2017.
At the same time, we can find growth from:
- Other Africa (56%): 12,924 tourists,
- Europe (15%): 185,348 tourists,
- Other Asia, incl. Oceania (7%): 203,311 tourists,
- Americas (3%): 48,012 tourists.
Qatar now has a total of 25,310 rooms (across 122 properties), representing an 8% increase in room supply compared to Q1 2017 (23,524 rooms across 118 properties.
The occupancy rate was 63% across all hotels and hotel apartments in Q1 2018, representing a drop of 5% compared to Q1 2017.
The highest occupancy rates were achieved in the Deluxe Apartment, Standard Apartment, and 3-Star classifications, at 75%, 69%, and 69% respectively.
The average length of stay for visitors in Qatar during the first three months of 2018 was 3.9 nights per trip, up from 3.6 nights per trip during the same period in 2017.
Here are some other interesting figures about the economic impact of the tourism industry in Qatar (Source: World Travel & Tourism Council):
- The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was QAR19.9bn (USD5,467.6mn), 3.3% of total GDP in 2017 and is forecast to fall by 2.0% in 2018;
- The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was QAR59.6bn (USD16,372.1mn), 10.0% of GDP in 2017, and is forecast to fall by 1.8% in 2018, and to rise by 8.6% pa to QAR133.5bn (USD36,681.6mn), 11.9% of GDP in 2028;
- Travel & Tourism investment in 2017 was QAR6.2bn, 2.4% of total investment (USD1,711.2mn). It should rise by 9.2% in 2018, and rise by 7.8% pa over the next ten years to QAR14.5bn (USD3,978.4mn) in 2028, 4.2% of the total.