07 May 2017
The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) will launch the next phase of the National Tourism Sector Strategy in September. The Authority, through this strategy, aims to promote Qatar as a world-class tourist destination characterised with its deep historical cultural roots, said a senior official of QTA.
QTA has launched consultations with members of the tourism sector and other related sectors to chart a roadmap towards launching the next phase of the strategy. The updated strategy will be launched on September 27, which marks the World Tourism Day, reported QNA.
Speaking at a press conference, Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Sector at QTA, said the Authority will take several steps before launching the strategy. QTA will hold wide range of direct meetings with key policy makers and decision-makers in Qatar, host two forums to bring together stakeholders of different sectors and will conduct a series of public-opinion polls. The first forum will be organised on 15-16 of this month.
As Qatar continues to develop the tourism sector, QTA must take all these factors into account and respond to any changes required by the new approach to build a booming tourism sector, he added.
By September this year, the QTA intends to complete the consultation process and finalise a comprehensive and accurate review of the strategy to ensure that Qatar's tourism industry is on track to achieve Qatar National Vision 2030.
During the press conference, Al Ibrahim made a presentation on the steps to be taken by QTA for the next phase of Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030, in which he stressed on the importance of the role being played by the private sector in the tourism sector.
Qatar will host the official World Tourism Day (WTD) 2017 celebrations, which will be held under the theme, ‘Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development’ in order to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.
Al Ibrahim explained that the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 was aimed at contributing to the diversification of the economy and stressed on the need to involve the private sector.
On the achievements made since the launch of the strategy, Al Ibrahim said that the number of tourists has increased from about 2 million in 2011 to 2.9 million in 2016. The total contribution of the tourism sector to Qatar's GDP increased from 3.6 percent in 2013 to 4.4 percent in 2015.
QTA has made many achievements in cooperation with the concerned authorities, including the new free transit visa, the partnership with visa processing services provider VFS Global along entry procedures for cruise passengers, Al Ibrahim said. He expects to triple the number of cruise ships visits over the next three years, bringing the number of cruise tourists to nearly 300,000 during the 2019-2020 season.
QTA hosted three editions of Qatar Summer Festival, which contributed to the Qatari economy by QR630m in 2016 in addition to the first edition of the Qatar Shopping Festival, the first of its kind held in Qatar, contributing to the country's GDP by QR1.06bn, he added.
Al Ibrahim said QTA has opened many representative offices bringing their total number to eight as well as the launch of destination and business events branding, QTA's corporate brand and more than 200 international media and promotion campaigns for tourism in Qatar.
He also pointed out that Doha was ranked 64th in Euromonitor International's annual Top City Destinations Ranking covering 100 of the world's leading cities, Al Ibrahim said.
Qatar's hospitality sector has ranked at the top of GCC destinations in the "Guest Experience in the Middle East (ME) report," released by hospitality and travel data providers (Olery), he added.
QTA is responsible for planning, regulating and promoting a sustainable tourism sector in Qatar with the aim of achieving economic growth and social development, he said, pointing out that there are four basic and three secondary tourism products in Qatar.
The main tourism products are conference and exhibition activities, arts and culture, family entertainment products and sports tourism. The secondary products are marine tourism, educational tourism and medical tourism, he explained.