Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) Secretary-General and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker has said that Qatar is welcoming tourists from across the world. He also claimed that the state of Qatar shall soon become a new destination for the tourists.
Al-Baker was speaking to journalists recently on the sidelines of the inauguration of Doha Port’s new temporary terminal and the arrival of TUI Mein Schiff 5, which marked the start of the 2019/2020 cruise season in Qatar.
— Gulf Times (@GulfTimes_QATAR) October 28, 2019
“We have a strategy that is going to completely revamp the way we are going to develop tourism in the country,” al-Baker said. “We have so many treasures in the country for tourists, which were hidden for so long and we were not marketing ourselves properly but this is all going to change with the new tourism strategy directed by his highness the Amir.”
Mwani Qatar, QNTC, and other stakeholders have been continuously collaborating to deliver world-class services to all passengers and ensuring seamless flows into and out of the Port.
“It is now my mandate and my duty to make sure that what we are doing is going to reap a lot of benefit to the GDP of my country and at the same time to let the public sector participate more with the government sector to improve this very vital industry, which, up til now, we haven’t been taking very seriously,” al-Baker said.
According to QNTC, Doha Port will host 16 turnaround calls, giving passengers ample time to explore the destination. In addition, nine ships will dock overnight during the season.
“A lot of tourists will stay in Doha and then they will travel on the aeroplanes of Qatar Airways to go back,” al-Baker said.
It is learnt that some of the popular tourist destinations in the country include Al Zubarah Fort (a World Unesco Heritage site), Katara – the Cultural Village, Museum of Islamic Art, Souq Waqif and Souq Al Wakrah, Mesaieed (Doha Desert and Sea Line), the National Museum of Qatar, Doha Corniche (Dhow cruise) and The Pearl-Qatar, among others.
Qatar is Improving Tourism Industry
Qatar is focusing on improving its tourism industry to generate revenue and enhance its political significance by establishing people to people interaction. From an economic standpoint, the tourism sector is offering new avenues to the investors and businesses with a remarkable growth which has reportedly reached 11% as of August.
This is going to be a huge event that is likely to bring in several big names in the world of football as well as sports enthusiasts from across the world
It is worth noting that growth in the tourism sector increased up to 11% which is an indicator for a better future for the investors and businesses. This figure reflects growth from January to August 31 compared to the same period in 2018.
In a recent report, the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019 placed Qatar Business Environment at No. 1 in the Middle East and at No. 8 globally.
Tourism has become one of Qatar’s most promising sectors, achieving a stable growth of 11 percent between January to August this year, said Secretary-General of Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC).#Qatar #Tourism #Growth #QNTC #Investment #QatarLivinghttps://t.co/IwhXgNQ6Vh pic.twitter.com/gq4iEx6ccL
— Qatar Living (@qatarliving) September 29, 2019
To institutionalize the tourism market, different steps have already been taken; QNTC has initiated several training sessions and education initiatives such as tour guide programme and the UNWTO/IE University Online Tourism Academy. Mr. al-Baker said that “our partners such as QBIC, QDB, Josoor Institute, Stenden University and HBKU in training professionals and startups in tourism”.
Ooredoo, a Qatar-based international telecommunications company, has recently said that it is the Exclusive Telecommunications Sponsor of a new contest being organized by Qatar Youth Hostels, under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker “our challenge is to meet the global growing demand for air travel, accommodate the growth of @QatarAirways and the influx of tourists and visitors for the 2022 FIFA World Cup QatarTM – and beyond”. #HIAQatarExpansion pic.twitter.com/KCq7fnyh3A
— Hamad Int'l Airport (@HIAQatar) October 22, 2019
According to a statement issued by the company, the contest under the theme of “Lens of Tourism” is being conducted with an aim to raise the country’s profile as a tourist destination.
As per the rules, every entrant must submit a short video – no more than three minutes in length – that highlights Qatar’s touristic, cultural and historical sites, and shows just why Qatar should feature on must-visit lists for tourists.
“All submissions will be shown on large screens on a final judging day, and the winners will then be decided by a panel of judges as well as the board of directors at Qatar Youth Hostels. The first-prize winner will walk away with QR10,000 and filming tools, while the second prize will be QR8,000 plus filming tools. The third-placed entrant will receive QR7,000 as well as filming tools,” it said.
Read more: Qatar – An Emerging Hospitality Hub
Speaking about the sponsorship, Manar Khalifa al-Muraikhi, director of PR and Corporate Communications at Ooredoo, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Qatar Youth Hostels and the Ministry of Culture and Sports with this exciting new initiative. Promoting Qatari culture is a key focus of our company strategy, as is supporting our local communities, and this new videography contest is the ideal way for us to provide practical support for our art and culture community, encourage our university students to explore their artistic talents and showcase the many wonderful tourist attractions Qatar – and Qatari culture – has to offer”.
Qatar to Welcome a Rush of Tourists
Some experts believe that Qatar is expected to see a strong rush of tourists in the coming months. The main reason behind this expectation is Qatar’s focus on conducting different sporting events in the country. Some high-profile games are being organized in Qatar in the next few months.
According to local media reports, more than 20 major sports events will be hosted in Qatar in the next four-month time. These events are likely to make the country a must-visit place for every sports lover across the world.
FIFA Council appoints Qatar as host of the FIFA Club World Cup in 2019 and 2020: https://t.co/4gfZghwbNy
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) June 3, 2019
Interestingly, Qatar is all set to organize the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2022. This is going to be a huge event that is likely to bring in several big names in the world of football as well as sports enthusiasts from across the world.
However, some experts and commentators believe that Qatar needs to present a soft image before the world in order to become a genuine tourist destination. The cases of lashes and stoning to some foreigners in the modern history of Qatar urge the country to pass some laws to ensure protection to the tourists.