Qatar attracts over three million tourists in 2023

Qatar attracts over three million tourists in 2023 By A Robin - December 16, 2023
Souq Waqif

Souq Waqif

Chairman of Qatar Tourism Saad bin Ali Al Kharji has announced that Qatar received over three million tourists during 2023 confirming that Qatar has become a distinctive tourist destination.

In his opening remarks at the 26th session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism, held yesterday in Doha, Al Kharji emphasised Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the unprecedented success in organising it, saying it was a rich experience that can be utilised on the Arab level for the development of the tourism sector.

He highlighted Qatar’s hosting of prominent international events this year, such as the Geneva International Motor Show 2023, held for the first time outside Switzerland, the Kiteboarding World Cup, and the Expo 2023 Doha for Horticulture, the first international horticulture exhibition in the Middle East, and North Africa.

The country is preparing to host several events, notably the AFC Asian Cup 2023 and the Web Summit conference.

Qatar Tourism Chairman affirmed that under its wise leadership, Qatar spares no effort in developing legislative environments, enhancing infrastructure, facilitating administrative procedures, and taking enhanced measures to boost the tourism sector while remaining committed to its identity, values, and principles.

He also revealed available investment opportunities in the tourism sector for Qatari and foreign investors and entrepreneurs, saying there is an understanding of the added value of the sector within the framework of national economic movement and driving development in Arab countries, which necessitates seizing the opportunities and potentials available to enhance and diversify the sector.

He added that tourism has been one of the most important drivers of economic growth and sustainable development in many countries worldwide over the past three decades.

He noted that enhancing the tourism sector is contingent on ambitious strategies that prioritize tourism and its pivotal role within Qatar’s National Vision 2030 and national strategy, acknowledging the importance and capability of the sector to significantly contribute to supporting the national economy.

He further said that the meeting takes place with immense sorrow felt for Palestinians who face war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli occupation authorities in flagrant violation of international law, humanitarian law, and all religious doctrines and international covenants.

He highlighted that the natural richness of Arab tourism imposes on tourism stakeholders the need for further efforts to activate joint programmes, activities, and promotions on a wide scale, aiming to develop and support the tourism sector in Arab countries. He stressed that tourism cannot fully grow its capabilities and potential unless there is a collective effort among all relevant parties and sectors in the countries, enhancing Arab investments, facilitating procedures, improving legislative environments, and exchanging experiences in this regard.

He extended his congratulations to Bahrain on Manama being chosen as the Capital of Gulf Tourism for the year 2024, wishing them success in their tourism sector endeavours.

For his part, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt Ahmed Issa expressed his appreciation for Qatar hosting the 26th session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism. He added that he was grateful for the warm reception, excellent preparation, and organization of the meeting, where all the agenda items will be addressed to achieve the desired outcomes amidst the circumstances and challenges facing the Arab region.

He affirmed that the Arab region, during the first nine months of 2023, succeeded in surpassing pre-pandemic figures by more than 20%, according to data from the World Tourism Organization. This success was attributed to the substantial demand and facilitation of entry visas in many regional countries, alongside investments in new tourism projects and hosting significant events.

It’s worth noting that Qatar witnessed the 33rd Executive Office meeting of the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism and the proceedings of the 26th session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism held over two consecutive days. The Executive Office meeting discussed various topics, including supporting the Palestinian economy in the tourism sector, the international code for the protection of tourists in the Middle East, enhancing the quality of education and training in the region, developing shared regional tourism products, supporting and developing intra-Arab cooperation in tourism, promoting the culture of the ‘Arab tourist’ consumer, activating joint tourism efforts, encompassing contemporary Arab tourist destinations, climate change and its impact on the sector, proposing forums to boost tourism, and evaluating nominated capitals for the title of the Arab Tourism Capital for the year 2024.

By A Robin - December 16, 2023

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