Qatar is celebrating geek culture with a festival that kicked off Tuesday. This year’s Geekdom is being held under the theme Unleash Your Inner Geek. Analysts believe that Qatar is making all possible efforts to emerge as a tourist destination in the coming years.
Fahad Al Kuwari, the event’s adviser, told media that this is a unique opportunity for aficionados of comic books, video games, and VR technology. “We offer the possibility of the artist to come and showcase their character designs, animated art and share with the community. Meanwhile, we have a series of talks that are happening at the festival. For the first time ever we are hosting an international guest, who is a dubbing artist…,” said Kuwari.
Six gaming tournaments will be held at the festival. “This year we are working together with the local gaming community and hosting a variety of gaming tournaments. These tournaments all have rewards. There are a total of six tournaments from fighting to sports and group games. Also for the first time, we are hosting board games,” said Kuwari.
Visitors can also buy action figures. “Another exciting thing is that we have an exhibition created by the official XM Studios, First 4 Figures and Prime 1 Studios. We have a selection of action figures and collectible pieces that are all for sale. Meanwhile, some of the items are prototypes and they are available for the pre-order,” said Kuwari.
Guest Experience Report by Olery
Qatar climbed the ranking scale to sixth on the Guest Experience Report, overtaking the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that dropped from sixth to seventh place in the Middle East Report published by hospitality and travel data providers, Olery.
The report analyzed over 12 million online guest reviews in the past 12 months – from April 1st, 2018 to March 31st, 2019- via online booking sites. According to the results obtained from these online guest reviews, Qatar’s position in the hospitality sector has improved drastically.
Read more: The rise of Tourism Industry in Qatar: Prospects and Challenges
In an analysis of the overall guest satisfaction, the quality of service, cleanliness, and location, received a 9 rating on average; an overwhelming score that is said to be the global benchmark in each of the categories included. Additionally, it received an average of 8.7 ranking score in the hospitality sector that includes: rooms, food, and facilities.
Qatar’s tourism rate had been greatly affected as a result of the boycott of GCC countries, which decreased by more than a third during the first half of 2018. The number of visitors/tourists traveling to Qatar fell from 1.5 million in 2017 to 945,000 in 2018.
Qatar’s hospitality sector retains top ranking over Middle East https://t.co/itGykbwgcB
— FRANKLYN AGBEKO (@Exteefan) May 18, 2019
Hassan Al-Ibrahim, the head of the then Qatar Tourism Authority, accused the neighboring GCC states of “weaponizing” tourism as part of the blockade strategy in a conference held in Doha, in October 2018. The Middle East Report on guest experience, however, confirms Qatar’s determination in working to improve the tourism and hospitality industry.
Qatar Government’s Commitment To Tourism and Hospitality Sectors
According to the Qatar National Tourism Council’s (QNTC) agenda for the next four years, tourism has been identified as one of the five priority sectors by Qatar’s leadership in order to institute a diversified economy. Previously known as, “Qatar Tourism Authority”, the National Tourism Council or QNTC, is focused on achieving new targets with the institutional assistance provided through setting new governance structures for the tourism sector. The QNTC is primarily focused on coordination, consolidation and focuses on its key members and stakeholders.
The ambition of the QNTC to reach new heights is self-evident in the fact that the council is expected to report to a board chaired directly by Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Prime Minister of Qatar. This fact signifies the determination and commitment of the government towards the development of its tourism and hospitality industry.
Read more: Qatar – An Emerging Hospitality Hub
Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) secretary-general 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 travelers with unparalleled hospitality and authentic experiences”.