Granting citizens of 80 countries a visa-free entry to Qatar will further accelerate the process of opening the country to the world and position it as a top tourist destination, top hoteliers have said.
Speaking to Gulf Times, Sheraton Grand Doha general manager Saeid Heidari described the Qatar government’s decision as “a fabulous one,” which is expected to further attract more visitors from these countries.
“I am very excited. This will be a big advantage for us, we have the facilities in Qatar,” he said. “This is showing as a long-term strategy to put the country on the map for tourism and opening up to host different nations here.”
Heidari noted that they are now working with their sales offices around the world to attract more guests from these 80 countries.
Hotels like Sheraton are targeting places such as Europe, China, Russia, and India, three of the biggest markets and most populous countries in the world.
As part of their effort to attract more business travellers to Qatar, Heidari said they will soon have a Scandinavian delegation familiarisation trip from September 30 to October 2, involving 12 of the biggest travel agencies in Finland and the surrounding countries.
“We are working such a programme to bring them along and also we have partnered with Qatar Airways to getting the people and showing them the country, these are the travel agencies ... to make them aware of the facilities we have in Qatar,” the general manager pointed out.
He stressed that they also want the delegation to see what opportunities are available in Doha, and for them to explore new places.
“We want them to see not only leisure and business sectors but also medical, sport, and culture, we have lots of possibilities here,” Heidari said.
About the opening of National Museum of Qatar in December next year, he pointed out that cultural places will attract different types of people and “this is one unique thing you can’t find anywhere else.”
Marcus Sutton, general manager of Crowne Plaza Doha and the upcoming Holiday Inn Doha, echoed similar views, saying they welcome steps to promote Qatar as a destination both for business and leisure.
“It is pleasing to see that the government continues to develop ways of making Qatar more accessible to international visitors,” he said.
Sutton vowed to continue developing their offerings and services to meet the requirements of these countries.