In the rst part of 2017, Qatar witnessed a 7% growth in visitor arrivals. Rashed Al Qurese, Chief Marketing & Promotion Of cer at Visit Qatar tells ITB Berlin News about the challenges that faced the Emirate and how it responded.
Following the Saudi-led blockade imposed on Qatar, and the related border closures and travel ban, there were large declines in visitor arrivals of those who are nationals and residents of the GCC blockading countries.
However, efforts to diversify source markets by granting visa- free entry to citizens of more than 80 countries, continue to show promising results, with increases in visitor arrivals from key primary markets. Furthermore, the cruise industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, with Qatar welcoming 22 ships at Doha Port throughout the season ending in April 2017.
How has the free visa programme helped?
Facilitating visitor entry is a key element in realising our vision for visitors to enjoy seamless journeys to, from and within Qatar.
Last year, we saw the introduction of a new free 96- hour transit visa to passengers of all nationalities which was complemented by the +Qatar campaign, which ran until December 2017. The waiver of entry-visa requirements for citizens of over 80 countries makes Qatar the most open country in the region.
What are the “star” tourism products this year at ITB Berlin?
Visitors to Qatar in 2018 will continue to have access to a broad range of hotels that cater to the budget conscious and the luxury seekers. Whichever they are looking for, visitors can be sure of a warm, unforgettable guest experience.
What is your key message to travel professionals from around the world at ITB Berlin 2018?
Qatar is the most open country in our region and we welcome the world to experience a unique destination where cultural authenticity meets modernity; where Arabian sands meet the sea; where people of the world come together to experience unique offerings in sports, culture, family entertainment and business.
Hall 2.2 / Stand 206