The second edition of Qatar Travel Mart (QTM), featuring over 50 exhibitors and 100 buyers from 60 countries, was inaugurated by HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Qassim al-Abdullah al-Thani, at Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre Monday.
Held under the patronage of HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani, the three-day QTM 2023 with the theme, ‘Discover Places, People, and Cultures,' offers a collaborative forum for industry professionals to enhance their knowledge, forge connections, celebrate excellence, and engage with international leaders and decision-makers in the travel and tourism sector.
The opening ceremony was attended by a host of dignitaries including Qatari Hotels Association and Qatari Businessmen Association chairman HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani and Qatar Tourism chairman Saad bin Ali al-Kharji. The ceremony drew over 100 prominent officials, including ambassadors and delegates from the participating countries.
Speaking about QTM 2023, al-Kharji said: “Qatar continues to offer unparalleled opportunity for exploration by global travellers and we look forward to showcasing the latest advancements made by our tourism industry over the next three days while collaborating with our valued partners to ensure the continued success and growth of our sector."
At the accompanying conference of QTM 2023, al-Kharji delivered a keynote speech centred on the theme of Qatar’s tourism progress at the event. This was followed by keynote speeches from officials such as Hissein Brahim Taha, secretary general of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation; Prof Muzaffer Uysal, provost professor, University of Massachusetts; and Tom Jenkins, CEO of the European Tourism Association.
Rawad Sleem, co-founder and general manager of NeXTfairs for Exhibitions and Conferences and organisers of QTM 2023, said: “This year's event marks a momentous occasion for QTM with a 50% expansion in scale. From exclusive programmes to a compelling agenda, QTM 2023 promises to ignite growth, celebrate achievements, and navigate the road to a sustainable tourism future post-World Cup."
Following the keynote speeches, there was a panel discussion led by Prof Wolfgang George Arlt, founder, Meaningful Tourism. The focal point was 'The Future of Travel & Tourism: A Growing Positive Curve,' and it featured prominent figures, including Mohamed al-Asmakh, director, Asset Management, Katara Hospitality; Philip Dickinson, Overseeing Leading International Markets and MICE at Qatar Tourism; Tom Jenkins, CEO of the European Tourism Association; Chris Flynn, chairman and founder of the World Tourism Association for Culture & Heritage and Prof Muzaffer Uysal, provost professor, University of Massachusetts.
There were also guest talks on topics such as 'The 'Burgenstock Collection: A Sustainable Collection'; 'Certification: Why This is so Crucial in This International Crisis Period '; 'Chinese Outbound Tourism, Current Status and Predictions for the Future'; and 'Korea Tourism: Riding The Korean Wave.'
The attendees had the opportunity to explore exhibition stands and QTM's Global Village. Hosting 25 embassies, the Global Village is a hub for diverse cultures, connecting different parts of the world under one roof and showcasing heritage, traditions, and philosophies.
Dignitaires at the ribbon cutting ceremony marking the opening of QTM 2023 Monday. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Some of the dignitaries at the conference of QTM 2023. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
A view of the QTM 2023 venue Monday. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam