The local travel industry has hailed the “robust strategy” and “proactive initiatives” taken by the government of Qatar to curtail the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Among these is the QR75bn financial stimulus for the private sector – a directive from His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management issued in March to cushion large and small businesses from the impact of the health crisis.

“The financial stimulus package has helped the private sector to sustain operations during these challenging times. Also, the introduction of Ehteraz app, social distancing, and other measures have ensured flattening of the Covid-19 curve, Tawfeeq Travel Group CEO Rehan Ali Syed told Gulf Times.

“Qatar is one of the very few countries that have extended timely support to trade, infrastructure development, health care, and for the well-being of its citizens and residents,” Syed continued.

Even leading organisations like the Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA) and Qatar Chamber also praised HH the Amir earlier for providing the private sector with financial and economic incentives during the pandemic.

In a previous statement, QBA chairman Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani said the measures “reflect a sublime human sense, wise, and responsible behaviour by His Highness towards the people and everyone who lives in Qatar.”

QBA’s board of directors also stressed that the important economic decisions announced by the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management would give Qatar’s business environment and private sector “a huge support, and reduce the size of the economic impact wrought by the pandemic.”

Only recently, Qatar Chamber’s Tourism and Exhibition Committee held a webinar to discuss the latest developments in the tourism sector, and to tackle pressing issues being felt by the industry while complying with the government’s health and safety measures related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The webinar, which was led by board member and committee chairman Sheikh Hamad bin Ahmed bin Abdulla al-Thani, also discussed the preparations of hotels and tourism offices amid the gradual lifting of restrictions, as well as the expected rebound of Qatar’s tourism activities, said Qatar Chamber in a statement.

According to Syed, the steady easing of Covid-19 restrictions, which is now on its second phase, will benefit many local businesses, especially when most retail and commercial establishments would operate full swing by the fourth and final phase in September.

Assuming business operations have normalised, Syed noted that Qatar could expect “substantial increase” in demand from local and international tourists.