Summer in Qatar festival supports tourism, economy
June 13 2019 12:20 AM
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Visitors queue
Visitors queue for a taste of Turkish ice cream at the Summer Entertainment City inside the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre. PICTURE: Jayaram

QNA/Doha

This year’s summer season in Qatar is an important boost to efforts to develop the domestic tourism industry and is a catalyst for the country’s economic growth, with a programme of summer activities, shopping shows and various entertainment events.
The annual summer festival, which its current edition was launched last week under the title “Summer in Qatar” and will lasts till 16 August, has been developing over the past years to diversify tourism products and promote retail and hospitality sectors by stimulating the country’s domestic tourism.
It is one of the most important festivals in Qatar.
Qatar summer festival aims to support domestic tourism, revitalising the country’s economy by stimulating Qatar’s private sector and supporting the various tourism sector partners by promoting retail sales and increasing occupancy rates in hotels and restaurant reservations.
The festival is a promising platform for the private sector to activate its role as the main engine of the economic process in the country.
It contributes to the promotion of goods and services and stimulates the competitiveness between various local and foreign companies to provide the best offers and services in the summer.
Summer in Qatar festival is part of the National Tourism Council’s strategy to enrich and diversify the country’s tourism offers by highlighting the elements of domestic tourism in the country, meet the needs of all segments of society and attract international tourists and visitors travelling on Qatar Airways as well as to a wide audience in nearby countries such as Kuwait, Oman, Lebanon, Pakistan, and India.
Qatar summer festival is also a part of the country’s aspiration to further growth in the tourism industry, as defined by the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2018-2023.
It is planned that different activities will attract 5.6mn visitors per year by 2023, compared with 2.9mn in 2016, more than 65% of whom visited Qatar for entertainment.
As part of promoting tourism sector in the country the Amiri decision was issued to establish the National Tourism Council chaired by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani.
It aims to achieve the best conditions for the implementation of the national strategy of tourism and its subsidiary programmes, in order to enhance the plans for the comprehensive development of tourism and its organisation and promotion internally and externally.
The Council also works to improve the tourism experience in the country and to show the cultural, artistic, and tourist features of Qatar.
According to the national strategy, total tourism spending in Qatar is expected to reach QR40bn, compared with QR17.3bn in 2016.
This spending will achieve 4% as a direct contribution to the country’s GDP compared to 3.5% in 2016.
The hotel occupancy rate recorded more than 70% compared to 65% in 2016.
The national strategy for the tourism sector included many tourism attractions, especially after Qatar became the most open country in the region, thanks to a series of policies aimed at simplifying visa procedures, including visa-free entry to citizens of 80 countries.
The country has also issued a free 96-hour transit visa, which has led to an increase of more than 40% of the number of travellers who decide to stop in Qatar.
Summer in Qatar festival this year is characterised by a variety of indoor and outdoor activities that meet the aspirations of the whole family, as well as a wide participation of stars and artists from both inside and outside Qatar, in addition to the accompanying sports and educational activities, shopping offers and hospitality that aim to promote tourism in Qatar.
Thanks to the collaborative efforts by partners in public and private sectors, Summer in Qatar festival offers visitors all kinds of tourism experiences, including cultural tours and entertainment in its various forms.
In this summer, the National Tourism Council’s (QNTC) stakeholders offer a variety of new products and activities that suit all ages, interests and budgets and further develop Qatar as a year-round tourism destination.
To ensure the success of the festival, QNTC has brought together more than 30 partners from the public and private sectors, including the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Qatar Museums, Qatar Airways, Katara Cultural Village, Qatar Foundation and the Private Engineering Office.
This year’s summer season promises to attract visitors from across the globe showcasing Qatar as a destination for its unparalleled hospitality and authentic experiences, as the festival comes in line with expectations that the number of visitors to Qatar will increase by 10% during the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year.
In this context, the National Tourism Council has benefited from its representative offices in several countries for marketing the programmes of this important tourism event, focusing on the role of cultural institutions in enriching the country’s domestic tourism.
Through the joint efforts under the umbrella of the summer festival, the aviation and tourism sectors are working hard to enhance their co-operation to ensure the success of this season by offering discounts on flights, launching travel promotions and offering exceptional travel experiences at Hamad International Airport.
Qatar Airways will offer a discount of 25% on all flights to Doha from more than 160 destinations worldwide between 30 May-16 August.
This year’s activities include many entertainment, music and comedy shows in the parks and malls.
Meanwhile, Souq Waqif and Katara Cultural Village will also bring vibrancy to the summer with family fun and entertainment shows during both Eids.
Nine participating malls across Qatar will be offering special entertainment shows, exhibitions and free activities for different age groups throughout ‘Summer in Qatar’. There will also be sales and promotions along with raffle draws.
A wide range of hotels and hotel apartments will offer discounts of up to 25%, valid for stays between 4 June-16 August 2019 along with several additional incentives and promotions at facilities. Qatar Airways passengers can also take advantage of +Qatar, a unique stopover package, in partnership with QNTC, designed to give travellers transiting through Qatar the opportunity to discover the country with free luxury hotel stays and complimentary transit visas.
The event witness a huge public turnout with its various elements that meet the aspirations of family members.
Recognising the importance of the tourism sector and its direct and significant impact on the recovery of the economy, Qatar has strengthened its efforts and capabilities and has laid solid foundations and made great strides in the promotion of this sector, which has witnessed great achievements in the field of policies, products and promotion.



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