Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and 11 industry partners are participating in the ongoing IMEX Frankfurt, an exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events. In addition to showcasing the country’s full range of hotels, state-of-the art venues, tour operators and event management companies, the delegation is strengthening ties with industry stakeholders and promoting Qatar as an attractive business events destination in the region, QTA has said in a statement.
Since Qatar’s last participation in IMEX, the country has introduced visa policy changes that have made Qatar easier to visit and the most open country in the GCC region, the statement notes. It also saw the launch of the Next Chapter of its National Tourism Sector Strategy, which charts a pathway to more diverse tourism products and an enhanced visitor experience.
The strategy prioritises business events as a major contributor to visitor arrivals.
Last year, the Qatar delegation held 89 meetings at IMEX and is looking to boost that figure this year.
Qatar’s 127sqm pavilion at IMEX Frankfurt is showcasing the country’s expanding business event options. It is located in stand No E600 and the delegation includes representatives from the following tourism sector partners: Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, Marriott Marquis, Middle East Adventures, Mondrian Doha - Morgans Hotel Group, Qatar International Adventures, QMICE, Sharq Village & Spa, Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Doha, The Torch Doha and W Doha Hotel.
“Our focus at IMEX Frankfurt this year is to create new ties with the MICE industry and build on existing ones,” said Ahmed al-Obaidli, director of Exhibitions at QTA. “Since the launch of the Next Chapter in September last year, the sector has taken steady steps to grow and accelerate the development of its offerings across the leisure and business tourism spectrums, giving international business visitors ample opportunity to enjoy authentic tourism experiences, both inside and beyond the venue walls.”
Over the past 12 months, the country has announced the hosting of IATA’s 31st annual Ground Handling Conference and the first Middle East edition of ICEIRD (International Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development), which will be held later in 2018. It has also announced the AICR annual congress in 2021 as well as the Clefs d’Or International Congress also in 2021.
And, as part of its commitment to further strengthen ties in the international association meetings industry, QTA has recently partnered with ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) to become a globally-recognised Association Relations Partner.
QTA is already leveraging its new status with ICCA and has set plans to host ICCA Qatar International Meetings Expert Session on September 17 and 18 in Doha. The two-day session will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn from leading experts in the international meetings industry and is specially designed for meetings industry suppliers and local associations in Qatar and the Middle East.
Business events are a key sub-sector of Qatar’s tourism industry, with more than 150 business events taking place in Qatar annually. The country has already invested heavily in infrastructural developments that will provide a major boost to the business events industry, such as Doha Metro project and a large number of 3-, 4- and 5-star hotels coming online, all of which will substantially enhance Qatar’s ability to host world-class events.
IMEX Frankfurt concludes on Thursday.
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