* Seven-fold increase in number of visitors in Q1 2022
* QT aims to increase travel & tourism sector’s contribution to GDP from 7% to 12%
Qatar Tourism (QT) plans to double employment opportunities in the tourism sector as it continues to position the country as a global leader in service excellence, COO Berthold Trenkel has said.
“Our strategy focuses on creating experiences across six demand spaces. These are active holidays; relax and rejuvenate; sun, sea and sand; cultural enthusiasts; luxury city breaks; and romantic getaways. These demand spaces portray a holistic and all-encompassing view of what Qatar has to offer and which customer segments we would like to focus on,” he said at QT’s recently held Annual Tourism Industry Ramadan Ghabga.
QT Chairman and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker, along with other officials from the public and private sectors, attended the event at Al Messila, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Doha.
Citing a seven-fold increase in the number of visitors in the first quarter of 2022, Trenkel said they expect an even stronger second half.
“We have an ambitious, but achievable vision and strategy for 2030. Over the coming years, we aim to increase the number of visitors to Qatar three-fold, increase spend in our destination by 3-4 times and grow the travel and tourism’s sector contribution to the GDP from 7 to 12%,” he said.
Trenkel noted that Qatar now offers visa-free access for more than 95 countries, and the 96-hour free transit visa is being reactivated. QT also expects the opening of 50 hotels by the end of 2022 to accommodate visitors.
April 15 saw the opening of Place Vendome, a Parisian-inspired development that offers retail, leisure, entertainment and luxury under one roof, in Lusail City. This new family destination features a mall, three hotels, restaurants and coffee shops, stores of international brands, daily laser shows, fountains and other attractions.
QT, which underlined its achievements last year, expects the opening of new attractions soon, as well as an array of events and initiatives, according to Trenkel.
“But it is with no doubt that this year is a legacy year for Qatar. We’re excited to have the eyes of the world on Qatar as it prepares to host the first-ever FIFA World Cup tournament in the Arab world and Middle East.
“As the countdown begins to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, I know we are all eager to showcase the country to the millions of fans who will visit us for this once-in-a-lifetime event. To do so, it is absolutely imperative that we continue to work together and collaborate to ensure the most memorable experience for all.
“I am confident that this year and beyond, working together, we will continue to go from strength to strength, and will see the launch of several projects that will attract visitors to Qatar well beyond the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” Trenkel said.
Prior to this prestigious tournament, he said QT is gearing up to host the first-ever Eid Festival from May 3 to 5 at the Doha Corniche. The three-day event will feature entertainment shows and activations for the family, including the region’s first-ever giant balloon parade, in addition to concerts, marching bands, daily fireworks, carnival games and food stalls.
Another highly anticipated event, the latest edition of Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition (DJWE), is set to take place from May 9 to 13, occupying 33,000sqm of space at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.
DJWE will bring together more than 65 exhibitors from more than 10 countries across the globe, including 500 renowned international brands. It will also feature exclusive pavilions from Turkey and India. Superstar Alia Bhatt will inaugurate the exhibition.
The exhibition will hold a series of workshops with jewellery and watches experts. Official sponsors and partners are QNB (official bank sponsor), Qatar Airways (official airline partner), and Alfardan Automotive (official car sponsor).
Trenkel highlighted QT’s major milestones in 2021: the launch of its first-ever global campaign – ‘Experience a World Beyond’, which has bagged many international awards; bringing back in-person events and successfully hosting the Qatar International Food Festival, Qatar Live, Heya and Shop Qatar; and the launch of its Service Excellence programme, as it collaborated with various sectors and partners to ensure all its products and services deliver an unparalleled experience to visitors and residents at every touchpoint of their journey.
As part of its digital transformation strategy, he noted that QT launched the award-winning Visit Qatar website and mobile application, which serves as a guide to help visitors plan unique itineraries.
According to Trenkel, QT hosted more than 100 journalists in Qatar last year and appointed nine new representative offices for travel trade around the world, helping to put Qatar firmly on the tourism world map.
“Our 2021 achievements are a testament to our tourism strategy, which puts the visitors at the heart of all our programmes and initiatives,” he said, thanking its partners for their contributions to QT’s continuous success.