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Qatar Airways offers free Doha hotel stays as tourism slumps

Qatar Airways offers free Doha hotel stays as tourism slumps

Qatar Tourism Authority figures show visitor arrivals decreased last year

State-owned Qatar Airways has announced the launch of stopover packages offering transit passengers free luxury hotel stays in the Gulf country amid declining tourism numbers.

The initiative, in partnership with Qatar Tourism Authority, will allow passengers travelling through Doha to choose from a free night at the The Four Seasons, Marriott Marquis, Radisson Blu and Oryx Rotana for bookings made by August 31.

The deal is valid until September 30 for passengers with a minimum transit time of 12 hours and is not applicable on Eid Al Fitr or Eid Al Adha holidays.

First and business passengers can choose from a selection of five-star hotels and economy class passengers from four-star properties.

Passengers can also purchase a second night stay for $50.

In September, Qatar announced the introduction of a free four-day transit visa system for passengers travelling through Hamad International Airport with a layover exceeding five hours.

Read: Qatar introduces free four-day transit visa

This followed a 6 per cent decline in tourism visitors to 1.4 million in the first half of 2016.

Read: Visitor numbers to Qatar drop 6% in first half of 2016

Qatar Tourism Authority figures for the full year show visitor arrivals down slightly from 2.941 million in 2015 to 2.938 million in 2016.

Similarly, data from market research firm STR shows a 16 per cent average decline in revenue per available room for hotels in Doha during the first quarter of this year as the market struggles to cope with increased room supply.


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