The Qatari Hotels Association (QHA), established under the umbrella of the Qatari Businessmen Association (QBA), has held its second meeting this year in the presence of the founding members.
The meeting discussed the agenda, including the association's work plan, strategy, and activities during the next phase, in addition to the election of members of the board and the approval of QHA’s Articles of Association.
Among QHA founding members, HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani attended the meeting along with Hussain Ibrahim Alfardan, Sheikh Mohamed bin Fahd al-Thani, Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani al-Thani, Omar Hussain Alfardan, Sheikh Fahd bin Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, Nawaf Jassim Mohamed al-Jaidah, Sheikh Mohamed bin Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani, Sheikh Hamad bin Mohamed bin Fahd al-Thani, Nasser Sulaiman al-Haidar, Mohamed Ibrahim al-Asmakh, Katara Hospitality acting CEO Andrew Humphries, and Deputy General Manager QBA Sarah Abdullah.
The attendees started the meeting by expressing gratitude to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani for his permanent support and continuous guidance on expanding the private sector role, and its contribution to the development process and economic diversification, in accordance with the Qatar National Vision 2030 and launching work programmes that support the trends and public policies towards a diversified and sustainable economy.
The founding members also elected QHA board members, with HE Sheikh Faisal as chairman, Sheikh Khalid as first vice chairman, and Omar Hussein Alfardan as second vice-chairman, while Sheikh Hamad was elected secretary general.
Following the elections, the attendees were informed of the Articles of Association and the articles regulating it, including the definition of the association, the conditions for its establishment, its purpose, goals and vision, conditions for membership and affiliation, tasks related to the development of the hotel sector, and ways to increase its contribution to the country's GDP.
The meeting also discussed the holding of a series of meetings with QHA counterparts or similar entities regionally and globally, starting with the Turkish Tourism Investors Association (TTYD) to discuss prospects and opportunities for joint co-operation, build common perceptions to enhance and exchange experiences, search for new methods and tools to mitigate the economic impact of the Covid-19 on the hotel and hospitality sector, and to benefit from the experiences of a number of touristic countries.
The board also agreed to organise periodic meetings for hotel managers and founding members to unite efforts, exchange views and ideas, and get closely acquainted with the challenges that the hotel sector faces, as well as to study proposed solutions to support the sector, submit reports, recommend and formulate policies and legislation related to the hotel sector, and to unite the efforts of hotel owners to enhance the effectiveness and role of the sector in Qatar and its affiliated institutions at the regional level.
The attendees emphasised that the current global economic situation as a result of Covid-19 represents a great challenge to the hotel sector and its workers, as well as the investment climate in the sector in light of the sharp decline in the number of flights, and quarantine protocols.
This resulted in the loss of 1.1bn tourist access, which translates into a loss of $1.2tn in revenue and the decrease of 120mn jobs, according to data from the World Tourism Organisation.
The attendees agreed that the continuation of vaccination programmes in Europe, the US, and Arab Gulf states will contribute greatly to the recovery of the tourism sector before the end of this year.
This will support the return of tourist flow and the increase in the movement of individuals in parallel with the start of the businesses and the return of economic activity to its previous status, especially as the tourism sector contributes about 10.3% of the total GDP in the world, and provides 330mn jobs, according to data from the World Travel and Tourism Council.
The participants agreed that the four phases adopted by authorities to gradually lift Covid-19 restrictions will contribute to the recovery of the hotel sector in Qatar in parallel with the re-launch of tourism activities, and the search for flexible options for travellers through Qatar Airways.
Other efforts include the provision of tourism vouchers to travellers as a one-stop-shop, accelerate efforts to develop a clear vision for the tourism sector, benefit from previous experiences, and work on formulating a strategy to diversify the source of tourists and explore new markets for tourism.
The board members also agreed to open QHA for membership, in accordance with the Articles of the Association.
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