Doha hotels hurting
Doha, Qatar – 28 June 2017 –
A boycott imposed by four Arab nations that accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism is squeezing the tourism sector and Doha’s hotels which would normally be full in the Eid al-Fitr holiday have seen steep falls in their occupancy rates.
A Reuters survey of five major hotels found average occupancy was around 57 percent at the start of the Eid festival on Sunday which marks the end of the Ramadan fasting month when friends and families eat and pray together and take holidays. “We’re usually packed with Saudis and Bahrainis but not this year,” a staff member at a five-star hotel said.
But Qatar’s official news agency QNA cited officials and managers in the hotel sector reporting hotel occupancy over the holiday period stood at more than 95 percent and denied reports of lower rates. “They pointed to high tourist flows from the Sultanate of Oman and the State of Kuwait and a significant increase in demand from domestic tourism,” QNA said.
QNA said an offer by some hotels to offer guests staying two nights at hotels a third night free had helped win high occupancy and that the sector has shown its ability to “diversify away from traditional markets”.