The government’s recent lifting of Covid-19 restrictions has been instrumental in boosting tourism-related activities across different destinations in Qatar, according to an industry expert.

There has been a surge in bookings for beach properties, private yachts, and resorts across Qatar, said Rehan Ali Syed, the CEO of Tawfeeq Travel Group. Local tours and excursions like kayaking, dhow cruise, and safari have also been in demand, he noted.

“We have been promoting staycations with the citizens and residents in Qatar. The implementation of the fourth phase has indeed relaxed the restrictions. However, it is still important that we abide by all precautions prescribed by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH),” Syed told Gulf Times on Saturday.

As early as the third phase of lifting restrictions, Syed stated that hotels in Qatar “were seeing positive trends,” especially with beach properties. During the Eid holidays, most of the premium properties were “running on very high occupancy,” he stressed.

“As soon as the fourth phase was announced, malls started getting busier and busier, especially since children are now allowed inside and with food courts opening up with 30% occupancy.

“If things go as per the MoPH’s plan, I guess by mid-September we will have more relaxation which will help to build the confidence of residents to step out of their homes. This year, with not much of travel in summer, residents are craving to get out of their homes and enjoy shopping and eating out with their loved ones,” Syed explained.

Asked about Covid-19’s impact on inbound tourism, Syed pointed out that the arrival of international tourists would be “a bit distant” pending the opening of international borders. However, Syed noted that “cruise liners will be the first to step in Qatar…cruise liners are all set to sail into Qatar as soon as they receive clearance from QNTC.”

“For local tourists, with Qatar Museums now open, we expect citizens and expats to explore the Qatari heritage and history. The opening of the new Hilton Salwa Resort has been in huge demand along with the premium Al Messila Resort & Spa adding another option for the local residence.

“The regular desert safaris along with Zubara Fort and Sealine Beach will always be popular amongst the expats. There are several sport activities, including FIFA Club championship planned in this last quarter, will eventually boost the local tourism,” Syed emphasised.

Syed also commended the Qatari government for its role in handling the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have to applaud the efforts taken by the government of Qatar to ensure the safety and well-being of all citizens and expats. They have been proactive in initiating proper checks through the Ehteraz App and ensuring that campaigns like social distancing and other precautions reach the masses in various languages. The government continues to extend all their support to various businesses to minimise the impact of the pandemic,” he stressed.

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