Top visitors for World Cup are from Saudi, India, USA, Mexico and UK

With all roads leading to Qatar as the nation hosts the World Cup, Qatar Tourism revealed that among the top nationalities arriving in the country are from: Saudi Arabia, India, USA, Mexico, United Kingdom, Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Morocco, and Sudan.

Qatar Tourism (QT) Chief Operating Officer, Berthold Trenkel told this to The Peninsula on the sidelines of a press conference about “The World Cup and Beyond, in conversation with Qatar Tourism” held yesterday at Host Country Media Centre in Msheireb Downtown Doha.

Trenkel said that the top ten countries account for 55 percent of arrivals in Qatar. Of the said percentage, 11 percent came from Saudi Arabia, followed by 9 percent from India; 7 percent from USA; 6 percent each, Mexico and UK; 4 percent from Argentina; 3 percent each, Egypt, Iran, Morocco, and Sudan.

With Qatar’s active tourism calendar and the World Cup, the visitor arrival to the country is on upward trajectory. More than one million people are expected to come during the quadrennial event.

Even prior to the tournament, visitors from Saudi Arabia topped the list.

“One-third of visitation is from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – obviously it’s Saudi Arabia, 95 percent of people from Saudi come by land, from Oman – 57 percent (it’s a 12-hour drive to Qatar), followed by UAE and Kuwait, among others,” said Trenkel.

Moreover, he stressed that the most important for everyone is the recovery of the tourism sector in post-COVID-19 times. 

“Anyone who has lived in the last two years in Qatar has lived through changing rules and regulations and also sometimes it felt like barriers, the quarantine, etc. I look forward to 2023 that none of it will be necessary.”

Trenkel stated that they are seeing a recovery, particularly on the Indian subcontinent, and expressed hope that China will open its border and permit its residents to travel. The majority of China’s borders are still closed today.

Among the ‘big markets’ that Qatar Tourism is targeting are Central Europe – United Kingdom, Germany and France. On stopover traffic, USA, and Australia.

And priority markets are UK, Germany, USA, India, China, and Russia. 

He pinpointed that they would transform tourism by focusing on six demand spaces: Active Holidays, Relax and Rejuvenate, Sun, Sea and Sand, Culture Enthusiasts, Luxury City Breaks, and Romantic Getaways.

Qatar Tourism had earlier said that it aims to welcome more than six million visitors by 2030, making the country the fastest-growing international travel destination in the MENA region. To make this possible, an extensive tourism development strategy is underway, including the construction of many new resorts, hotels and hotel apartments, which will meet the needs of every budget.

“The work does not stop after the World Cup as the country has an ambitious strategy to boost the number of inbound visitors to Qatar to more than six million a year by 2030,” QT said in a statement earlier.

Among the exceptional new tourism development spots that recently opened in the country includes: Lusail Winter Wonderland, Qetaifan Island Water Parks, Fuwairit Kite Beach Resort, West Bay North Beach which includes Doha Sands, B12 Beach Club and West Bay Beach.