Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) reports that despite the siege Qatar has seen impressive tourist footfall. The first half of this year witnessed a growth in the number of tourists visiting Qatar with expectations of an increase in the coming period, especially after the announcement of the exemption of citizens of 80 countries to obtain a visa to enter the country.
This fact was proved by the occupancy rates of hotels that are registered, especially during Eid Al Fitr holidays, where the occupancy rate was 95%. Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) is working on a number of initiatives and promotional campaigns to create new markets to attract tourists and diversify the tourism product to ensure the prosperity of Qatar’s tourism industry, which has, so far, not been affected by the siege.
Chief of QTA’s Tourism Development Sector, Hassan Al Ibrahim, said in a statement to QNA that there are many steps were taken by the Authority in response to its 2030 tourism strategy and to support the tourism sector in Qatar. The most recent move being is the visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries. He added that one of the Authority’s objectives is to diversify the target markets and segments and that the visa-free entry initiative comes in this context, stressing QTA’s intention to continue opening new representative offices in addition to carrying out many future promotional campaigns with its partners to promote Qatar and support the tourism sector.
Al Ibrahim said some of the markets currently being worked on by the QTA were scheduled for action in the coming year, but due to the siege imposed on Qatar, it is targeting other new markets in order to attract tourists who wish to visit Qatar and know about its historical and heritage features and its renaissance.
Al Ibrahim expected that new visa free rule to 80 countries will have a positive impact on the number of tourists coming and will give the tourism sector a boost. He stressed that the first half of this year witnessed a growth in the number of tourists, which he considered a good thing, noting that the Authority intends to launch more incentive initiatives for the tourism sector with the launch of the national strategy for the tourism sector after being updated during the celebration of the World Tourism Day on September 27.
the sudden boost in tourism related activity was not only because of the siege but also Qatar’s people who wished to stay in country for their holiday season.
The enterprises launched by QTA have been diversified to include all aspects of entertainment that benefit citizens and residents, attract tourists to Qatar and contribute to the advancement of the local economy.
Qatar Summer Festival 2017, which started on June 25 and will last until September with the participation of 77 hotels establishments and carries the slogan “Colour Your Summer”, plays a key role in promoting the tourism sector and attracting tourists despite the siege imposed on the country.
In this context, Director of QTA’s Festivals and Events, Mashal Shahbik, said the Qatar Summer Festival offers visitors incorporated package that includes travel and hospitality packages as well as a variety of shopping and entertainment options for all members of the family to enjoy.
The summer festivities, which this year extend from Eid Al Fitr to Eid Al Adha, form a key part of QTA’s efforts to boost the tourism sector through diversifying tourist activities and tourism markets, she said.
Shahbik said that the advent of Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha during the summer months of this year was the perfect time to combine the two Eids celebrations within Qatar Summer Festival, adding that visitors and residents will also have more choice in terms of leisure activities, shopping discounts and hotels’ offers.
The country has witnessed the arrival of a huge number of tourists and visitors from Oman and Kuwait as well as foreign tourists who to took advantage of competitive offers provided by hotels during that period, which also emphasises the strength of the hospitality sector in the country.
As part of its efforts to provide tourists with the opportunity to travel, stay and shop smoothly in Qatar, QTA has also cooperated with many entities to enable tourists to benefit from the offers of accommodation offered by the luxury hospitality sector in the State of Qatar.
During Qatar Summer Festival, which is being held until the end of Eid al-Adha, the festival’s organizers announced that they have reached an agreement with Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition to launch a summer edition.