A vast majority of respondents in a survey conducted recently by local Arabic daily Arrayah felt that more could be done to promote tourism in the country.
While 92.3% of the survey participants said that measures taken by the authorities concerned to promote local tourism were limited in nature and not productive enough, only 2.6% thought the measures and plans were appropriate and effective. Besides, 5.1% described the measures as somewhat acceptable.
According to the survey findings, 47.4% said there was a shortage in the number of quality beaches and tourist destinations in the country. On the other hand, only 7.9% felt the entertainment programmes and activities on offer were not attractive enough.
Further, 44.6% of the respondents said the activities focused more on foreign tourists rather than local ones, while 16.1% felt they catered to both categories. However, 37.5% said the activities did not cater to the real interests of both local and foreign tourists.
A number of Qataris stressed the need for greater co-ordination among the parties concerned and ministries to develop the local tourism and entertainment sectors. They said the dearth of interesting and attractive entertainment activities compelled them to travel abroad during holidays. This is despite the fact that the country has a lot of potential for developing these industries.
Mohamed al-Mohannadi, one of them, said that public parks and gardens should be developed and there was also a need to create big entertainment cities of high standard, where families could enjoy some quality time. In addition, he expressed concern that many beaches had been taken over by hotels and private properties and these allowed access only at “exaggerated” rates. “There is a shortage of family-friendly public beaches with adequate services,” it was observed.
Meanwhile, Mubarak Faresh Mubarak, member of the Central Municipal Council (CMC), has praised the efforts of Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) in promoting tourism in the country, particularly in recent years.
He said QTA should provide the public with more information about its activities and distribute the programmes in such a manner - in terms of both their schedule and venue - that they reach the widest audience possible.
Mesahel al-Dehnim, another member of the council, said that there had been noticeable development in the local tourist industry and a number of related projects are under construction. “However, there is a need to focus on projects that pertain to historic and heritage sites and turn them into favoured tourist destinations,” he felt.
CMC member Mohamed Mubarak al-Shahwani said that a tourism project near Abu Samra was under construction and it was expected to become a comprehensive tourist complex. He felt there was a need to expand investment in this area as there was great potential for more such projects in the country.
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