Qatar’s hospitality sector signals smooth recovery from COVID-19

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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With the relaxation in travel restrictions and revival of economic activities, the green signal of recovery in the hospitality sector has started to become visible and recent data shows that the occupancy rate in hotels of Qatar is increasing consistently.

According to Qatar’s Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) data, the occupancy rate in five-star hotels has increased to 49 percent in November 2020 from 48 percent in July. Similarly, the occupancy rate in four-star hotels has improved to 58 percent in November from 56 percent in July.

The one and two-star hotels in the country have made the biggest gains in terms of occupancy ratio with 59 percent in November 2020. One of the key reasons for this increase is the decline in room rates making a hotel stay feasible for the visitors.

The average room rate for five-star hotels fell from $148.59 in August to $146.94 in November while in the case of four-star hotels it remained stable at $59.60 during the August-November period. The average room rate for one and two-star hotels decreased notably from $38.45 in August to $37.35 in November.

Hotels in the country also took several measures to attract guests, as the restrictions imposed to control the spread of the COVID-19 forced citizens and expatriates to cancel their travel plans and hotels across the country launched exciting staycation offer to attract them.

Staycation, a term coined by merging ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’, refers to a vacation spent in the home country rather than abroad that gained much prominence during the pandemic. Along with revitalizing the guests, these staycations boosted domestic tourism and stimulated the economy.

The staycation offers in the country varied from hotels to hotels but generally, it included up to 50 percent discount on rooms, breakfast, discount on food and beverages, early check-in and late check-out, access to swimming pools, and many other such benefits.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, the safety of guests became a prime focus for hotels and they have applied the highest possible sanitization procedures and safety standards. Many hotels have also seen an increase in the number of travelers booking hotel rooms to meet the quarantine related norms.