Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) is about to complete its new long-term tourism strategy, Chairman of the authority, Issa bin Mohamed al-Mohannadi, has said.
In an exclusive interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA) yesterday, al-Mohannadi said that the authority was keen to take into consideration all remarks of the parties concerned inside and outside Qatar.
“QTA sees ITB as an all-important event to showcase Qatar and all our stakeholders as we develop a new tourism strategy for the country that looks to raise awareness of all that Qatar has to offer in Europe and further afield” said al-Mohannadi.
He said that among the organisations in Qatar which the QTA co-operated with for preparing and designing the strategy, are Qatar Airways, the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, the Cultural Quarter ( Katara) and the General Authority for Museums.
The QTA chairman said that such a strategy would be proclaimed to all after being endorsed and approved as a general strategy for tourism in Qatar.
The QTA chairman told QNA that the new strategy is to pass through several stages when approved . “The first phase of the strategy will extend until 2016... and this phase will form a leap in achieving such a strategy and then followed by a second phase which ends before Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup..whereas the third stage copes with Qatar National Vision 2030”, he added.
“With its rich authentic cultural offerings and welcoming safe atmosphere, Qatar has become the destination of choice for families, which is borne out by the increase in the number of family visitors in 2012,” he said.
“Qatar has become the first choice in the region for family tourism thanks to the availability of appropriate public environment in the country in terms of safety and the preservation of identity, which made Qatar an attractive place and a first preferred option for this category of tourists,” said al-Mohannadi.
“Qatar is also an established destination for business in the Meetings Initiatives and Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector and will continue to be the hub of international sports across the whole region with an increasingly significant role to play in the region and on the international stage,” al-Mohannadi said.
Regarding domestic tourism and its location of the aforesaid new strategy, al-Mohannadi said that the definition of tourism as it is known in the International Tourism Organisation (ITO) is travelling or the survival of the person outside his residence, noting however that the domestic tourism in Qatar is limited by virtue of the geographical size of the country.
Asked about the QTA’s quest to attract tourists and foreigners, al-Mohannadi said Tourism Authority is now working with Qatar Airways to find new programmes, namely a cessation programmes for less than 8 hours so that any passenger intending to travel by Qatar Airways and has waiting “transit” of 8 hours and less, will enjoy “the presence of a new product positioned to visit the installations and components tourism in Qatar and identify them”.
QTA also uses the event to outline the major development of tourism infrastructure that is taking place in Doha and highlight the latest buoyant tourist statistics in the 2012 Annual Report. These show that Qatar has made great strides in attracting more regional and overseas tourists to the country.
He went on to say that the QTA pays attention as well to the other tourism sectors such as business tourism, entertainment, recreational and conferences tourism, noting that the new strategy will focus on certain types of types of tourism.