Qatar’s tourism sector has witnessed seven times increase in the number of visitors in the first quarter of 2022, compared to the previous months, and it is expecting an even stronger outlook in the second half of the year, a senior official has said.
Speaking at Qatar Tourism annual Ramadan Ghabga which brought industry experts together, including Akbar Al Baker, chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer of Qatar Tourism Berthold Trenkel said, “Already, 2022 has kicked off with a promising start. Over the first quarter of the year, we’ve witnessed seven times increase in the number of visitors and we are expecting an even stronger second half.”
He said that currently Qatar has visa-free access for more than 95 countries and the 96-hour free transit visa is being re-activated.
“To accommodate all of this, we are expecting 50 hotels to open by the end of the year alone.”
Trenkel added that there are also several new attractions in the pipeline such as the newly opened Place Vendome, which would attract visitors.
“But, it is with no doubt that this year is a legacy year for Qatar. We’re excited to have the eyes of the world on Qatar as it prepares to host the first-ever FIFA World Cup tournament in the Arab world and Middle East,” he added.
Trenkel thanked all present at the event, saying that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, together they had navigated disruptions caused by the pandemic and came out stronger.
He said, “Despite some tough circumstances, we are incredibly proud of our achievements over the last year. They truly demonstrate our resilience as a sector and our commitment to the tourism strategy for 2030.”
According to him, tourism sector has an ambitious, but achievable vision and strategy for 2030 and over the coming years, they aim to increase the number of visitors to Qatar three folds, increase spend in the destination by three to four times and grow the travel and tourism’s sector contribution to the GDP from seven to 12 percent.
“We also want to double employment in the tourism sector, all while continuing to position Qatar as a global leader in Service Excellence,” Trenkel said.
He said the strategy focuses on creating experiences across six demand spaces, including active holidays; relax and rejuvenate; sun, sea and sand; cultural enthusiasts; luxury city breaks; and romantic getaways.
“These demand spaces portray a holistic and all-encompassing view of what Qatar has to offer and which customer segments we would like to focus on,” he said.
Trenkel added that in 2021, the sector achieved some major milestones, including the launch of their first ever global campaign ‘Experience a World Beyond’, which has already won several international awards.
“We leveraged eased restrictions to bring back in-person events and successfully hosted Qatar International Food Festival, Qatar Live, Heya and Shop Qatar. We also launched our Service Excellence programme, where we collaborated with you, our partners, to ensure all our products and services deliver an unparalleled experience to visitors and residents at every touch point of their journey,” he said.
He added that as part of the digital transformation strategy, award-winning ‘Visit Qatar’ website and mobile application was launched, which serves as a guide to help visitors plan unique itineraries.
“We’ve also hosted more than 100 journalists in Qatar over the last year and have appointed nine new representative offices for travel trade around the world, helping to put Qatar firmly on the tourism world map. Our 2021 achievements are a testament to our tourism strategy, which puts the visitors at the heart of all our programmes and initiatives. None of these achievements would have been possible without our colleagues and partners. We’ve had an incredible year and now look forward to an even more exciting year ahead,” Trenkel said.
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