Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has opened a representative office in Mumbai, India – the 11th in a network of offices around the globe, it was announced.
QTA’s new office is set to tap into one of the fastest-growing outbound tourism markets in the world, second only to China.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation estimates, India will account for 50mn outbound tourists by 2020.
The market for travel and tourism in India is expected to grow at a ‘compound annual growth rate’ of around 7.23% during the period 2016-2021.
“The rapid growth of India’s outbound tourism market in recent years, coupled with QTA’s intensified efforts to diversify and grow visitor source markets makes it the right time to establish our on-the-ground presence in India,” QTA’s chief marketing and promotion officer Rashed al-Qurese said.
“The steps taken to make accessing Qatar easier are particularly targeted at visitors who are seeking to experience our country’s luxury hospitality and unique cultural offerings, all while benefiting from the convenience of relatively short flights,” he added.
QTA’s representative office in India will oversee a wide range of promotional initiatives, including workshops, sales visits, travel agent destination training through QTA’s online Tawash programme, partnerships with tour operators, familiarisation trips, media campaigns and a variety of innovative activities to raise Qatar’s profile as a leisure and business tourism destination among Indian tourists.
Qatar has become an increasingly accessible destination for Indian travellers, especially after Qatar waived entry visa requirements for Indian citizens last year, according to QTA.
In the first quarter of 2018, QTA noted that Qatar welcomed more than 113,000 visitors from India.
Qatar Airways, the country’s award-winning national carrier, has 100 weekly direct flights connecting the capital Doha to nine major cities across India.
These are complemented with another 74 weekly flights on Indian airlines, bringing the total to 174 flights a week.
QTA’s office in Mumbai closely follows the opening of a representative office in Moscow last March.
The new office joins an international network currently covering the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, the US, China, Russia, the GCC markets and South East Asia.
Indian nationals can enter Qatar visa-free, with an allowable length of stay of 30 days.
Indian nationals do not require any prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa on arrival in Qatar. They should have a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward ticket.
The waiver will be valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and entitles its holder to spend up to 30 days in Qatar, during either a single trip or on multiple trips. The waiver can also be extended for a further 30 days.
Indian travellers interested in Qatar also have easy access to information about the destination’s tourism offerings, hospitality options and key tourism events online, with its official website www.visitqatar.qa