*1.19mn people visit the country during the first seven months of 2019
Qatar's tourism sector has achieved remarkable growth and significant developments over the past few years in terms of visitor numbers, tourism infrastructure and governance in order to achieve economic diversification, which is one of the most important objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
The latest statistics showed that Qatar welcomed 1.19mn visitors during the first seven months of 2019, representing a 10.7% increase, compared to the same period in 2018.
Of this, 469,000 (39%) were from Asia and 375,000 (31%) from Europe, while the number of visitors from the GCC reached 131,000 (11%).
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani issued on November 4, 2018 the decision establishing the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) under the chairmanship of HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, launching the beginning of a new phase of development of tourism in Qatar.
Qatar National Tourism Council, with HE Akbar al-Baker as its Secretary General, continues to work with its partners from the government and private sectors in the implementation of the national strategy for the tourism sector, which enhances the visitor experience, diversifies local tourism products and offers, promotes efforts, and enhances opportunities for private sector investment in the field.
The issuance of Law No. 20 of 2018 on Tourism Regulation and Law No. 21 of 2018 on organising business events was one of the most important stages of the development of the tourism sector. These laws helped the sector to cope with the demands of the great developments in the tourism sector in terms of structure and management as well as the technical developments including diversifying export markets for visitors and diversifying tourism products and experiences.
The tourism sector has recently undergone rapid development after the opening of QNTC representative offices in the major exporting markets of the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Turkey, Russia, India, China and Southeast Asia. This coincides with the announcement of the World Tourism Organisation that Qatar has become the most open country in the Middle East and the 8th most open in the world.
The co-operation between the QNTC and the World Tourism Organisation has been developed to include support for several global initiatives, while the Council has worked to develop and regulate the way the tourism sector operates with a focus on developing the skills and competencies of workers in the sector, in addition to developing the form and content of tourism events and festivals.
Also the QNTC has worked to strengthen Qatar's position as a global business destination and to collaborate with Qatar Tourism Authority's partners to attract more conferences and exhibitions. It has also been supporting companies to organise local exhibitions and events and give them the opportunity to lead the sector, a report prepared by Qatar News Agency (QNA) as part of the tourism bulletin of the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA), said.
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