Qatar has announced a massive investment of $17 billion into tourism infrastructure that will cover construction of luxury hotels, resorts and meeting facilities in a five-year plan. The investment is expecting a 20% growth in the sector in five years. Massive investment in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector is making Qatar a destination reputed for quality and excellence, attracting global events with its increasing development of sustainable exhibition centers.
Mr Abdulla Malalla Al-Bader, director of tourism at Qatar Tourism Authority said that to meet forecast demand, hotel capacity will increase by 400% to over This will mean the construction of luxury hotels, resorts and other leisure facilities, totaling a 400% increase in hotel capacity up to 29,000 luxury rooms by 2013. In terms of tourists visiting Qatar, statistics show overseas visitor numbers increased, especially from Asia with a total of 36,385 visitors in the first quarter of 2012, followed by European tourists with a total of 10,456 tourists.
Qatar is already a regional hub for conferences and exhibitions, with 95% of the visitors coming for business, whether as an individual traveler or to attend a conference, a meeting, or an exhibition, and is targeting a 20 % increase of number of visitors for the next five years. The announcement states that two new centers with a total capacity of 95,000 square meters are scheduled to open.
Qatar Tourism Authority was given the mission to develop Qatar into a leading world-class events destination for the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector. To support its reputation, Qatar has introduced new hospitality training programs at Stenden University and QMDI (Qatar MICE Development Institute) to ensure the availability local skills in the MICE sector.
It will have as its goal, to provide quality and excellence, and development of sustainable events. By combining exhibitions and tourism under the unique control of the same authority, it enables QTA to create a unique tourism strategy, offering a business oriented destination, combined with leisure activities.
Qatar offers an alternative for business tourism combined with leisure, that is close to the European market, offering the experience of Arabian traditions and all luxury facilities.