International visitor spend at QR52.1bn in Qatar in 2021: WTTC

* International visitor spending accounted for nearly 14.5% of the country’s exports last year, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 2022 Annual Research

Qatar recorded international visitor spending of QR52.1 billion in 2021, accounting for nearly 14.5% of the country’s exports last year, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 2022 Annual Research.
International visitor spending accounted for 87% of total visitor spending in 2021.
Leisure spending amounted to QR 44.73 billion, 75% of total spending in Qatar in 2021, WTTC data shows.
Nearly 250,000 people were employed in the country’s travel and tourism sector last year, accounting for 12% of total jobs in 2021, the global forum for the travel and tourism industry noted, the research paper showed.
In 2021, the travel and tourism sector contributed QR67.6 billion to Qatar’s economy, or 10.3% of the total GDP, it said.
For arrivals over the past year, WTTC data showed that Indians accounted for 8% of total arrivals, followed by those from Kuwait (4%), Oman (3%), the UK (2%) and the US (2%).
For departures from Qatar, Turkey topped the list with 14%, followed by Kuwait (12%), Bahrain (11%), Saudi Arabia (10%) and the US (5%).
On a global scale, before the pandemic, travel and tourism (including their direct, indirect and induced impacts) accounted for one in four of all global job creation, 10.3% of all jobs (333 million) and 10.3% of global GDP ( $9.6 trillion).
Meanwhile, spending by international visitors in 2019 was US$1.8 trillion (6.8% of total exports).
WTTC said that after losing nearly $4.9 trillion in 2020 (-50.4% decrease), the contribution of travel and tourism to GDP will increase by $1 trillion (+21.7%) in 2021 increase) has increased, according to the latest annual surveys.
In 2019, the travel and tourism sector contributed 10.3% to global GDP; a proportion that has fallen to 5.3% in 2020 due to ongoing mobility restrictions. In 2021, the share rose to 6.1%.
In 2020, 62 million jobs were lost, down 18.6%, leaving only 271 million people globally employed in the industry compared to 333 million in 2019. Around 18.2 million jobs were recovered in 2021, which corresponds to an increase of 6.7 % over the previous year .
After a 47.4% decline in 2020, domestic visitor spending increased by 31.4% in 2021, according to WTTC. And after a 69.7% decline in 2020, international visitor spending increased by 3.8% in 2021.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, said that the GDP of the travel and tourism industry will grow at an average of 5.8% per year between 2022 and 2032, outpacing the growth of the overall economy (2.7% per year).
“Our research shows that the GDP of the travel and tourism industry could return to 2019 levels by the end of 2023. In addition, the sector is expected to add nearly 126 million new jobs over the next decade. While government support has played an important role during this crisis, the sector’s speedy recovery will only be possible if managers and officials work together and establish clear and consistent rules.
“Governments must focus on coexisting with Covid-19 while improving preparedness for future crises, providing safe travel experiences, supporting equitable distribution of vaccines and further facilitating conditions of entry into travel destinations.
“The outlook for the future is positive and our sector is once again showing its resilience and ability to recover. Despite the difficulties the sector is facing, our projections point to a strong decade of growth,” Simpson noted.

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