Qatar: Slump in tourist visits

Qatar’s tourism fell by 44.6 per cent in June compared to the same time last year. The previous month, tourism had only been down 6.8 per cent, the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer report said. The study is based on international overnight visitors.

In August, Qatar made a drastic change to its border control rules to counter its economic isolation. It abolished the need for visitors from more than 80 countries to secure a visa to enter the country. Instead, a multi-entry waiver is now issued free-of-charge at the port of entry and is valid for a minimum of six months.

Qatar’s falling levels go against the trend of rising tourism levels throughout the Middle East, with the region as a whole seeing a boost of 9 per cent in the first of the half year. Tourism in the Middle East had been predicted to rise by only 2 – 5 per cent after years of decline due to the instability during the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

Source Credit: The National
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