As the Eid al-Fitr holiday approaches, Qatari travellers are diversifying their destinations beyond the traditional European favourites with a keen eye on business opportunities and unique leisure experiences, according to a number of travel agencies in Doha.

Shedding light on emerging trends and preferences among Qataris, Tawfeeq Travel Group CEO Rehan Ali Syed told Gulf Times that the UAE and Saudi Arabia remain prominent business hubs for Qataris due to their proximity and favourable business environments within the GCC.

He highlighted the UK’s prominence as a favoured destination, attributed to familial ties, educational endeavours, and property investments. He pointed out that China emerges as a significant player for trade and business, while Germany and Switzerland attract Qataris for tech-related and banking services.

About other countries he perceives to have a huge potential to become popular business destinations, Syed said: “Qataris are exploring the world and any country where they can find good potential for investments and trading, they would like to step in.

“We can see quite a few trends of travellers opting for Japan and South Korea along with Canada, South Africa and especially the east European countries, as well as Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.”

Echoing a similar view, Avens Travel & Tours Doha managing director Naser Karukapadath noted the increasing appeal of China as evidenced by the introduction of new airline routes.

“Since the introduction of Chinese airline XiamenAir and the upcoming operation of China Southern effective April 23, 2024, it is giving more capacity and options for passengers between Qatar and China,” he said.

Turkey also gains traction due to the ease of travel and cordial bilateral relations, according to Karukapadath.

With the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday, he said Greece and Spain are witnessing heightened interest, reflecting a growing inclination among Qataris to explore new European destinations.

Besides China, Karukapadath also underlined the growing interest in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, not just for tourism but also for potential business ventures.

He said Japan presents itself as an ideal choice for those seeking alternatives to mainstream destinations, offering a blend of tourism and business opportunities.

Following the implementation of the Japan visa waiver for Qataris on August 21, 2023, it is learnt that there has been a surge in interest among Qatari travellers to visit Japan. This newly introduced online passport registration system offers a visa waiver, allowing Qatari nationals to stay for up to 30 days.

In addition, Karukapadath added that Seychelles, an Indian Ocean gem, remains relatively unexplored by Qatari travellers, providing an off-the-beaten-path option for island holidays.
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