‘Open visa’ policy, special events make Qatar tourism hotspot

  • 8 months   ago
Open Visa Policy in Qatar, Qatar Tourism, Qatar Visa-Free, Qatar Airways, Qatar Blog, Qatar Travel,Qatar Day

The Following is the report prepared by Qatar News Agency (QNA) as part of the tourism bulletin of the Federation of Arab News Agencies (Fana):
The development of the tourism sector in Qatar continues uninterrupted on several axes.
It includes infrastructure, human resources, laws and regulations governing the work of the sector, hospitality, tourist guides, and  the development of sub-sectors, such as marine, conference, business and sports tourism.
The Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) has recorded an increase in the number of tourists coming to Qatar this year.
It has attributed this to the measures taken by the country to facilitate the policies and procedures for obtaining a visa, making  Qatar a tourist destination that is open to the world and placing it among the most important competitive markets of tourism in the region and the world.
Qatar has become the most open country in the Middle East and is the 8th most open in the world in term of visa facilitation.


The country’s ‘open visa’ policies allow nationals of 88 countries to enter Qatar visa-free and to take advantage of the country’s privileged position - in the middle of the world - and the presence of Qatar Airways’ network of flights to and from more than 170 destinations worldwide.
In this context, the QNTC has organised several tourism events and festivals which represent an important part of the Council’s working mechanism in its endeavour to develop the tourism sector and diversify local events, in addition to support economic sectors such as retail, hospitality, food and beverages.
These events support entrepreneurs and owners of home-based businesses to develop their brands and market their products.
The most recent event was the 11-week ‘Summer in Qatar’ season, in which the National Tourism Council collaborated with 68 partners and introduced a programme suitable for all age groups of visitors.
The QNTC also launched an e-notification system in co-operation with the Ministry of Interior for those wishing to travel to Qatar during the summer season, including relatives, friends of resident, former residents of the country, and families to enjoy the summer season in Qatar.
Hospitality offers and discounts played a pivotal role in achieving a significant increase in the overall occupancy rate of all hotels, which reached 40%. In June, hotels recorded a 10% increase in average occupancy compared to June 2018, while July saw an increase of 4%, compared to the same month last year. During the week of Eid al-Adha, average occupancy in all hotels reached 60%, with bookings worth QR44.5mn.
Qatar International Festival Food also comes as one of the most important festivals popular among residents and visitors alike. The tenth edition of the festival witnessed co-operation between QNTC and the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF). The 11-day festival was held at the Oxygen Park, with the participation of 157 pavilions, 12 food trolleys, 37 local and international celebrity chefs, and 90 restaurants. The festival also included workshops and entertainment shows.
Shop Qatar Festival for its part enhances QNTC’s efforts in supporting fashion makers in Qatar, as the third edition witnessed the participation of 14 malls, 54 hotels and 75 temporary stores, while the recent edition witnessed the Design District at Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre and Qatar-India Year of Culture.
Thanks to the wise policy of Qatar, the tourism sector in the country has overcome the blockade imposed on the country since 2017. Despite the blockade, tourism sector has achieved remarkable growth at various levels, thanks to the activation of openness plans to global tourism markets such as India, China, Russia, the United States and Germany.
Since the beginning of 2019, Qatar has witnessed a remarkable growth in the number of visitors on an annual and monthly basis. During the first half of this year, the number of visitors grew by 11.5% year-on-year to 1.05mn visitors.
In terms of competition across the region, the hospitality sector ranked first for the second consecutive year as the best hospitality sector in the region, according to Guest Experience in the Middle East Report, released by hospitality and travel data providers Olery, which monitored and analysed more than 12mn guest reviews over the past 12 months from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019.
The private sector contributes to tourism investments, as tourism in Qatar is a growing industry that has succeeded in a short period of time to have an effective role in achieving economic diversification sought by the state, contributing to the GDP, and creating huge investment opportunities.
Areas open to tourism investment in Qatar include business event services, culture, heritage, desert safari services, food, health, well-being, free activities, entertainment, sports, recreation, tourism tours organisation, tourist accommodation and transportation services.