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Qatar the fastest growing tourist destination in Middle East: QT Chairman

by Staff
HE Chairman of Qatar Tourism (QT) Saad bin Ali bin Saad Al Kharji affirmed that the State of Qatar has succeeded in promoting tourism, at home and abroad, during the past few years through the optimum investment in natural elements available in Qatar and upgrading its tourist infrastructure and facilities.
He pointed out that Qatar possesses all elements of tourist attraction that best suit a variety of cultures, in terms of natural reserves, ancient castles, public beaches, public gardens and parks, inveterate museums and restaurants, in addition to a plethora of international resorts and hotels, traditional markets, and major commercial complexes that make Qatar an ideal destination for visitors and residents to spend vacations with their families.
During an interview with Qatari newspapers published Sunday, Al Kharji said QT and its active partners in the domestic market will have a massive work to do in the upcoming years, and pledged that he would handle all potential hitches that might hamper the growth of tourism sector, in addition to reinforcing partnership and cooperation among a variety of tourist sector components to achieve the strategic objectives by receiving 6 million visitors by 2030.
The national strategy for tourism primarily aims to elevate the tourism sectors contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) from 7 percent to 12 percent, double employment process in the hotel sector and make Qatar one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the Middle East, Al Kharji highlighted, pointing out that Qatar has invested in the state-of-the-art infrastructure that helps the country host major events and visitors effectively.
There are utilities dedicated to meetings and conferences in 128 facilities with the space of 70,000 sq m, he said, pointing out that QT has strived during the past years to intensify efforts in quest for advancing the tourist sector in collaboration with its partners in the public and private sectors.
HE Chairman of QT indicated that one of latest milestones achieved by QT was the fact that it had received 702,800 visitors during January concurrently with the launch of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 breaking the record in the number of international visitors whom Qatar had received in one month.
Al Kharji talked about Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy to enhance the attractiveness of Doha and maximize the utilization of tourist components, emphasizing that Qatar has recently launched its third National Development Strategy 2024-2030 prepared according to the directives of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, which is the last stage to achieve the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030.
The aforementioned strategy has identified tourism as the major sector within the combination of economic diversity elements intended to achieve the sustainable economic growth, Al Kharji underlined, affirming that the strategy has prioritized the identification of initiatives that support tourism sector, including the enforcement of tourist policies to promote the attractiveness of tourism sector, maximize the utilization of connection network offered by Qatar Airways, maintain the service excellence, provide new tourist service and design unique experiences for visitors.
He pointed out that the number of visitors to Qatar during 2023 has reached over 4 million, the highest percentage recorded during the recent five years, emphasizing that QT is making utmost efforts to accomplish one of the tourist strategic items, represented in receiving 6 million visitors by 2030, as mentioned before, confirming that there is nothing impossible to do that, as Qatar has 39,000 hotel rooms and in 2023 the country operated 60 percent of hotels.
Commenting on the initiatives that QT intends to carry out during the upcoming years, HE Chairman of Qatar Tourism (QT) Saad bin Ali bin Saad Al Kharji said QT efforts are laser focused on the enforcement of the National Tourism Sector Strategy in alignment with the third National Development Strategy.
At the beginning of 2024, QT will implement numerous initiatives, including the development of tourism and sport sector, bolster the sector of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) in Qatar, develop special programmes for specific markets as well as aircraft charters programmes to attract visitors from some selected countries, reinforce trade activity in priority markets with major tourist agencies through increasing the number of their representative offices, participate in international trade exhibitions, promote the experience of hospitality and entertainment for visitors and residents through establishing a hotline dedicated to serving local and international tourists, as well as optimizing e-service to streamline the browsing of calendar events.
Al Kharji delved into the plans and programmes to capitalize on the Qatari talents in giving impetus to the tourism development, emphasizing that based on the latest figures related to human cadre in QT, the number of Qatari employers reached 152 from the total number of 207.
In recognition of the importance of meeting the human talents needs in the future, QT is seriously working to cooperate with all parties relevant to attracting the highest aptitudes in tourism sector, in addition to applying job nationalization policy with the aim of increasing the percentage of the Qatari manpower through creating job opportunities and bolstering the citizens’ capabilities, as well as organizing the essential training and support the programmes, Al Kharji emphasized.
He highlighted the most prominent upcoming events in Qatar, adding that the country is set to hold the most premium and renowned 20th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition 2024 during Feb. 5-11, the Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) 2024 during Feb. 7-17 at Al Bidda Park, Light Me Lusail at Lusail Boulevard whose details will be unveiled soon, he said, adding that Qatar is due to hold the Web Summit (WSQ) one of the major technology conferences in the world that will be convened for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa.
The representative offices are partner agencies to represent QT in numerous major markets, Al Kharji outlined, indicating that they aim to promote the State of Qatar as a primary travel destination, either as connection point, or terminal point and encourage participation in the markets where these offices are located. He emphasized that QT is making tremendous efforts to take the essential measures required to optimize regulatory and structural frameworks, coordinate cooperation in the joint promotional efforts and formulate strategies that would draw tourists and investments through markets.
Through its vision, QT aspires to achieve further progress and make Qatar one of the fastest growing tourist attractions in the region by 2030, Al Kharji added, pointing out that to achieve this ambition QT has laser focused on 6 areas of tourism highlighting the best natural and tourism assets available in Qatar, along with the stellar offers they offer, and to expand globally through forging further partnerships with global tour operators and travel agencies, launching commercial charter flights in new markets, and establishing representative offices worldwide to promote Qatar as a tourist destination.

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