14 Jan 2018 - 7:59

Destination Qatar

The Peninsula

Qatar’s progress towards growth and its high standing in the global arena was once again cemented last year when different pillars of development contributed to nation-building. Notable among them is the contribution of the Qatar Tourism Authority in the progress of the economy during the previous year and its plans for this year. 

The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has pushed through the difficult times after the unjust siege imposed on Qatar by some countries and implemented its agenda without any hurdles.

The Friday’s announcement of Qatar Tourism Authority to organise 130 business events this year will definitely boost its already well-established strategy of attracting more businesses and people to the country. It conducted about 120 events last year. The business events sector — promoting Qatar as a destination of corporate meetings, exhibitions and other related events — is making a huge contribution to the country’ economy. According to the official estimates, the contribution of business events sector to the nation’s gross domestic product is about 2.3 percent. It will add the business to the booming hotel industry and related hospitality sector in a big way.

The authorities are working on implementing the national tourism strategy, which will see a flow of 5.6 million visitors per year in next five years. 

The year began with the ongoing Shop Qatar 2018, the biggest shopping festival in the country, and is attracting visitors day by day.

Last year was a successful year for the Qatar Tourism Authority. Over 1.8 million people visited the country until September 2017, despite the siege. The Qatar Summer Festival went ahead smoothly and saw a greater participation as it happened just after the unjust blockade in June. Eid festivities also added colour to the festivities.

The commendable and far-sighted decision of launching visa-free entry to some 80 nationalities is seen as a boon to the tourism sector. The move was met with wide-ranging applause from all segments. The decision to relax visa policy for nationals of 242 countries and territories through its e-visa platform was also a bold initiative to drive the country towards hosting greater numbers of tourists.

The announcement of offering several attractive stopover packages for Qatar Airways international passengers such as free luxury hotel stays and complimentary transit visas also met with huge success. Qatar Airways played a major role in attracting more travellers to the country and its plans to add more destinations will further connect Qatar with the whole world. Last year, the Authority launched ‘Qatar Welcomes the World’ campaign and opened representative offices in many parts of the world including China. 

The proactive measures like conducting an online survey to get feedback from the public on the tourism sector by the Qatar Tourism Authority also showed its earnest way to augment its plans.

With these kinds of activities and plans along with Qatar’s cultural and modern attractions, this year will be a golden year for the tourism sector.