Maintaining its momentum from last year's global tournament, Qatar welcomed a total of 730,000 visitors in January and February 2023, marking an increase of 347 percent from the previous year.
The start of the year saw 340,000 international visitors in January 2023, a 295 percent increase year on year, and 389,000 visitors in February 2023, a staggering 406 percent increase from the same period last year. The month of February marked the highest number of international arrivals to Qatar in the past 10 years, with the exception of the months of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, making it the busiest month for tourism in the country.
Having firmly established itself as a leading tourism destination with its high safety record, seamless public transport, pristine beaches and cultural sites, tourists from around the world continue to head to Qatar to experience the country's unique blend of authenticity and modernity.
The start of the year will have also seen visitors arriving to the peninsula to enjoy the line-up of festivities offered as part of Qatar Tourism's "Feel Winter in Qatar" campaign, including performances by celebrated regional and international artists, the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition and other family-friendly events.
Doha, the Arab Tourism Capital of the year, also hosted numerous world-class sporting events in the first two months of the year, including the Visit Qatar GKA Freestyle Kite World Cup 2023, Qatar TotalEnergies Open, and Qatar ExxonMobil Open, helping to promote the destination even further.
Commenting on the record figures, Chief Operating Officer at Qatar Tourism Berthold Trenkel said: "We are excited to see the progress we have made towards achieving our 2030 strategy, which aims to welcome 6-7 million visitors annually, increase employment in the sector and have tourism account for 12 percent of the country's GDP. Our performance also highlights Qatar's growing reputation as a world-class destination for travellers seeking unique experiences and is a testament to the success of our 'Feel Winter in Qatar' campaign and 'Feel More' brand platform which has resonated with families worldwide. This record-breaking achievement galvanises us even further to continue to innovate and provide unforgettable experiences for our visitors." The celebrations of Kuwait National Day and Saudi Founding Day in the second half of February led to a significant increase in the number of visitors arriving from both countries. Specifically, there were 86,000 arrivals from Saudi Arabia and 20,000 arrivals from Kuwait, which together constituted 73 percent of all arrivals from the GCC and 27 percent of all international arrivals in February. Saudi Arabia stood as Qatar's biggest contributor, representing 22 percent of total visitors to Qatar in January and February 2023.
Qatar Tourism's Feel Winter in Qatar included events such as the Qatar Balloon Festival, which painted Doha's sky with over 50 hot air balloons from 17 different countries, and Disney Princess The Concert, which was brought to audiences in partnership with Qatar Airways. Family-friendly performances, including PAW Patrol Festival and Circus 1903, and stellar shows by John Legend, Angham, Mutref Al Mutref, Abdul Aziz Al Muana, Ibraheem Dashti, Asala, and many more, contributed to the festive atmosphere over the first quarter of the year.
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