06 May 2017
Sachin Kumar
The announcement by Qatar Airways last week to offer free one-night stay in country’s luxury hotels will boost the tourism sector of Qatar. Industry experts believe that the free stay offer is strong enough to lure transit passenger to extend their stay in Doha.

Around 68,000 transit passengers moved during last year from Hamad International Airport, according to Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics data.

“This is a very good step by Qatar Airways and it will further strengthen Qatar’s tourism industry because it will attract new tourists into the country. Tourists going back to their countries talk to their friends about their stay in Qatar. This word of mouth publicity will create awareness about Qatar in different countries, which will benefit Qatar’s tourism sector,” Yousef Abdulla Al Sai, Managing Director of Cleopatra Travels told The Peninsula. “The country now has so many tourist destinations because of the initiatives taken by the government,” he added.

Last week Qatar Airways created waves in travel industry by announcing that the passengers who transit through Doha would be entitled to a free one-night stay at a four- or five- star hotel. Those who want to stay longer can pay $50 for a second night. Passengers can choose from hotels such as The Four Seasons, Marriott Marquis, Radisson Blu and Oryx Rotana.

This offer is available for all Qatar Airways passengers, both Premium and Economy.

Inflow of new tourists will also have a multiplier effect on the local economy because tourist staying in Qatar would like to explore Qatar and will use local taxi, eat in a restaurant, buy a souvenir and local specialties. This will help local economy.

“The latest offer by Qatar Airways will encourage tourists to travel via Qatar. Those staying in Qatar on a free stopover would like to spend more than a day in Qatar. During their stay in Qatar, tourists will spend money while exploring city which is good for different stakeholders in tourism sectors,” said Farukh Sardar, General Manager at Mannai Trading Company where he is now managing a business to business travel platform. Sardar has over two decades of experience in Qatar’s travel sector.

Experts believe that along with bringing tourist in the country, the offer will also be helpful in attracting foreign capital in the country.

“Not only tourism, this step is also helpful in bring new investment into the country. Many tourists after seeing Qatar would also like to invest in the country by setting up new businesses,” added Al Sai.

© The Peninsula 2017