Qatar's high ranking reflects a string of visa facilitation measures it introduced
Qatar is the "most open country" in the Middle East and the eighth most open in the world in terms of visa facilitation, said Hassan Abdulrahman al-Ibrahim, acting chairman, Qatar Tourism Authority.
Making a special address at the International Products Exhibition and Conference on Monday, al-Ibrahim said the high ranking reflected a string of visa facilitation measures introduced by Qatar, including allowing nationals of some 88 countries to enter Qatar visa-free and free-of-charge.
As a result, Qatar’s openness score has leapt by 71.3 points since 2014, when it ranked 177th, he noted.
Already, Qatar’s increased openness is showing in the growing number of visitors from markets which can now access the country visa-free. Notable increases in arrival volumes in the first half of 2018 compared to the first half of 2017 came from India, China, Russia and Germany.
Al-Ibrahim said, “Openness and ease of access are crucial elements of the visitor experience. That is why, in addition to the accelerated development of our tourism offering, we have committed to providing a seamless experience to our visitors even as they are planning for their journey.”
Asked how safety and security can be ensured when nationals of so many countries are eligible for visa-free entry into Qatar, al-Ibrahim said, “We have a strong process in place to ensure safety and security.”
The QTA acting chairman reiterated Qatar’s commitment to “responsible tourism” and said, “We will make sure our natural resources and assets including the desert, and sea are protected. In this regard we work in close cooperation with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.”
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