Qatar launches 'bold and innovative' tourism plan
September 27 2017 09:24 PM
HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani at the W
HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani at the World Tourism Day celebration in Doha yesterday. PICTURE: Nasar T K

Qatar has launched the ‘Next Chapter of its National Tourism Sector Strategy’, which will focus on developing more tourism infrastructures across the country and ensuring favourable visitor experience in the next five years.

The country’s new tourism roadmap, described as “a bold and innovative plan,” was announced by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani at the World Tourism Day celebration.

Speaking at the event, HE Sheikh Abdullah said the five-year plan, approved by the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and Investment, is set to activate policies that will promote and boost tourism growth by opening new markets such as China, India and Russia.

“It (Next Chapter of its National Tourism Sector Strategy) will also strengthen our presence in Europe, America, Asia and diversify the different tourism products and provide new investment opportunities for the private sector,” HE Sheikh Abdullah said while commending the collective work of several sectors in the country.

Such efforts, HE Sheikh Abdullah stressed, resulted in the development of the five-year plan set to accelerate tourism projects aimed at enticing more tourists from around the world to visit Qatar.

HE the Prime Minister also announced that the sector’s governance is set to be re-organised in the coming months around a new National Tourism Council, in co-operation with other sectors. It will supervise and continuously review the implementation of the new strategy.

“The growth that is being achieved in the state of Qatar makes us very optimistic, that is why there are many opportunities for innovators, entrepreneurs, and businessmen to reinforce this sector and the different experience that we can offer from now on,” HE Sheikh Abdullah said.

HE Sheikh Abdullah also thanked and honoured United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) secretary general Dr Taleb Rifai for his years in service in the organisation, and close co-operation between UNWTO and Qatar’s tourism sector.

Presenting the five-year plan, Qatar Tourism Authority’s (QTA) chief tourism development officer Hassan al-Ibrahim said they will develop and market Qatar’s tourism products globally, with focus on creating an enhanced end-to-end visitor experience.

The Next Chapter introduces a tourism blueprint for Qatar, which identifies six geographic zones across the country and ties each zone to tourism themes based on the area’s geographic characteristics and natural assets.

The senior QTA official said local and international investors will be invited to develop tourism products and services in each geographic zone, in line with its proposed theme.

Citing as an example, he explained that the zone of Al Khor and Al Thakhira has been allocated the theme of eco-tourism due to its unique biodiversity and beautiful natural landscapes.

Investors will be invited to develop tourism products and services such as eco-lodges, nature tours, pearl-diving and water sports experiences.

To market these products, QTA will increasing the number of overseas offices around the world and the number of markets covered, run global campaigns, and work with destination management companies for product and events packaging – delivering complete Qatar experiences for prospective visitors.

“Together with our partners in the public and private sectors, we have explored the most effective ways to build on the strong foundations that have been laid for the tourism sector since 2014, and to further develop the country’s existing cultural and natural assets,” al-Ibrahim said.

“As a result, the Next Chapter positions Qatar as a hub to discover – where cultural authenticity meets modernity, where the sand meets the sea, and where people of the world come together to experience unique offerings in culture, sports, business and family entertainment,” he stressed.

Last updated: September 27 2017 11:01 PM

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