Qatar’s hospitality sector has been ranked the best in the Middle East for a second consecutive year by hospitality and travel data providers, Olery. 

Qatar’s hospitality sector continues to win accolades, ranked best in the Middle East for a second consecutive year, according to the Guest Experience in the Middle East Report, released in May 2019 by hospitality and travel data providers, Olery. 

The report analysed over 12 mn online guest reviews in the past 12 months – from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 – from popular online booking sites. Fraser Suites Doha Doha Qatar Hotel Ramadan Iftar Suhoor Promotions in Qatar (3)

Qatar’s score increased to 85.4 from 84.3 in 2018. The development of new attractions such as the new National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ), which was credited with helping maintain the hospitality sector’s momentum. 

The report measures overall guest satisfaction by considering different aspects of their tourist accommodation experience, including service, location, cleanliness, room quality, and value for money. 

In Qatar, service, cleanliness and location received ratings of 9.0, above the global benchmark in each of these categories. 

Qatar’s hospitality sector also scored higher in rooms (8.9), food (8.8) and facilities (8.4). According to the ‘guest type’ category, Qatar’s tourist accommodation was particularly popular among business travellers, families, and friends. 

The Secretary-General of Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) and CEO of Qatar Airways, HE Akbar Al Baker, said:

Qatar’s hospitality sector remains a key engine of our tourism vision. We congratulate our partners in the private sector for their continued growth, and their focus on providing travellers with unparalleled hospitality and authentic experiences.

The Olery report confirms that Qatar’s hospitality sector is best in class, and a model for the industry and the region. The Olery report and the guests who have stayed in Qatar’s hotels articulated the main selling points as attentive service, top notch facilities, and authentic experiences. These remain a priority as we continue to build diverse tourism and hospitality products and attract more guests to experience all that Qatar has to offer.’

The year 2019 started on a high note for Qatar’s tourism and hospitality sector with features in some of the world’s top travel lists. Regardless of the Qatar blockade, Doha has been named among ’10 Most Open Visa Countries in the World’ by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in 2018, one of the ‘Top 15 Places to Travel to in 2019’ by Forbes and ‘52 Places to Go in 2019’ by The New York Times (NYT).

The deal

QNTC signed a deal with Olery in 2015 to get immediate and real-time data and reports on the quality of the services and operations carried out by Qatar’s hotels.

Through this agreement, QNTC seeks to benefit from the Olery destination system, which draws on traveller and customer reviews to constantly monitor dozens of customer review sites across the world. Olery also analyses thousands of reviews each day to provide a deep insight into the guest experiences within Qatar’s hotels.

The strengths of the system lie in its ability to give a constant and consistent approach to the experiences of visitors to hotels worldwide, and analysing the data to provide an overview of the destination’s hospitality industry. It can even compare the quality of the industry within Qatar to other destinations around the world or regionally.

Olery’s Hospitality Performance Report will provide QNTC with a tool which keeps up with Qatar’s dynamic and rapidly expanding hospitality sector. The report makes it possible to track the overall performance of the destination’s hotels, as well as to observe the performance of each hotel individually.

QNTC will make use of these insights to promote a steady and consistent level of guest satisfaction across the whole hospitality industry. Further, by using the data as a basis for extensive market analysis, informed decisions on where support for specific hotels or hotel segments can be made.

At the core of the data supplied to the QNTC is the Guest Experience Index™, the only scientifically backed quality measures in the hospitality industry, resulting from a cooperative effort between Olery and VU University Amsterdam.

The underlying algorithm is proprietary to the system, and this provides a fair output from all relevant customer reviews submitted across the world by visitors to Qatar from websites such as TripAdvisor, and others.

Additionally, ratings for different aspects of the guest experience such as comfort, cleanliness and service are being included. Olery is also providing an online tool containing all data for the QNTC to assess in real-time.

Further development in the hospitality and tourism sector

QNTC became the founding sponsor of the IE University UNWTO Tourism Online Academy, which was established in April 2019. 

The agreement was signed by QNTC Assistant Secretary-General Hassan Al Ibrahim, and Global Director of Corporate Relations at IE University William Davila in the presence of World Tourism Organisation of the United Nations (UNWTO) Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

The online platform will provide professionals with easy access to high quality education and training in the travel and tourism, hospitality and destination management fields. The initiative will provide easily accessible and exhaustive training for people seeking a profession in the tourism sector, which provides one in 10 jobs globally.

The academy will benefit from UNWTO thorough knowledge and expertise in tourism, as well as IE University’s innovative education model. Graduates will receive an IE University UNWTO Online Tourism Academy certification in Foundations of Management Applied to Tourism. 

The curriculum will cover strategy management, operations management, marketing management, finance fundamentals, as well as technology and innovation management.

QNTC also announced that the UNWTO is lending its expertise to help develop the Qatar National Tourism Experience Awards programme. The awards programme will recognise businesses, public entities, NGOs and associations, operating both inside and outside of Qatar and across all sectors, that are directly or indirectly contributing to the delivery of exceptional experiences to Qatar’s visitors.

Author: Ola Diab

This feature is an editorial from the ‘Hospitality, Hotels and Dining’ section in the latest issue of Marhaba – Issue 75, which comes out in August 2019.

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