Local businesses in Qatar stand to gain from the steady momentum the local tourism industry is currently witnessing amid the anticipation of the fourth phase of the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, according to an industry expert.
“Domestic tourism has been booming because of Covid-19 protocols that allow for travel outside the country. With the implementation of Phase 3, outdoor gatherings were permitted, restaurants increased their capacity, park, and beaches were opened, thus, again, attracting outdoor activities along with more entertainment facilities,” Tawfeeq Travel Group CEO Rehan Ali Syed told Gulf Times.
In earlier news reports, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) stated that Phase 3 allows “private healthcare facilities to operate at full capacity, allowing children in cinemas subject to conditions, increasing the capacity of Doha Metro and public transport, driving schools, wedding halls, barbershops, amusement parks and entertainment centres, museums, libraries, nurseries, educational centres, and private training centres, as well as allowing more people in a group to gather in parks and on beaches and opening playground and exercising equipment there.”
Syed explained: “Qatar has several beaches which still remain unexplored, but with the urge to find some new places amongst families, more outdoor destinations have been discovered. Once the fourth phase is implemented, it will boost tourism in the country with meetings, conferences, and events planned for the last quarter. This will create a trickle-down effect that would benefit many sectors in the country, such as the retail industry.”
To curb the spread of Covid-19, the MoPH initiated restrictions in four phases. Phase 1 was launched on May 28, followed by Phase 2 on June 18 and Phase 3 on July 9. But the MoPH extended Phase 3 to August.
“The fourth phase of lifting Covid-19 restrictions could start by September if the situation continued to improve and remained under control,” Hamad General Hospital medical director Dr Yousef al-Maslamani told Qatar TV earlier last month.
Speaking on Qatar’s domestic tourism scene under the extended Phase 3 and possible prospects once the market moves to Phase 4, Syed added that “the FIFA Club matches are already creating frenzy amongst the fans from the region and Asian countries.”
On its website, Qatar Tourism is promoting domestic tourism through sports activities, such as the Arab Cup 2021, which is seen as “the perfect opportunity” for the country to showcase its “ultra-modern” facilities to sports fans worldwide.
The website also encourages tourists, both local and foreign, to explore Qatar’s tourism destinations through arts and culture, outdoor adventures, shopping, ‘family fun’, and dining, among others.
Syed said the main objective of Tawfeeq Travel is aligned with Qatar Tourism’s objectives, which is to promote Qatar’s touristic attractions. He said the company is known for organising trips to Al Zubarah Fort, desert safari, overnight camping, city tours, kayaking, paragliding, museum visits, and hot air balloon rides, among others.
“Tawfeeq Travel continues to expand its retail network to reach out to customers across Qatar, making it easily accessible for any travel needs,” Syed added.
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