Published On: Wed, Jul 15th, 2015

Qatar on track to achieve 3 million tourist arrivals

QNA_Issa_Mohammad_Muhannadi_TourismDOHA, Qatar – Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) is on track of achieving 3 million tourist arrivals for the first time by the end of this year.

Speaking at a press conference convened to announce the Qatar Summer Festival 2015, QTA chief marketing and promotions officer Rashed al-Qurese said the festivals during off peak seasons such as summer had significantly helped to attract more visitors to the country.

“Our main focus will be on the seasons where we don’t witness so many tourists like Ramadan and summer, and hence we focus on summer and we try to raise the number of tourists in this period,” he noted.

Citing a 30 % increase in the number of tourists from GCC countries such as Saudi Arabia in 2014, QTA is exerting more efforts in the Gulf market.

Festivals and family attractions organised by QTA such as the Qatar Summer Festival and Eid celebrations have largely contributed in enticing tourists to visit Qatar.

He said they prepare in advance for the festivals and get feedback from individuals, target groups, and the media, among others on how to further improve the holding of events.

“We want to make sure that everything we do is done properly and that we are doing something sustainable,” the QTA senior official stressed. “We are carefully reviewing every step.”

Al-Qurese also said travelling across the GCC is not as expensive as compared to other destinations outside the region.

From an estimated 100,000 people who visited the Doha Exhibition Centre for the festival last year, QTA is expecting a larger number this year with numerous offerings especially the hotel and shopping promotions.

QTA co-ordinates with Qatar Airways throughout the year in making tourism promotions, according to al-Qurese.

He said they also launched their hotel campaigns in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in partnership with travel agencies in those countries.

A report released by QTA in April showed that Qatar’s tourism industry continued its growth in the first quarter of this year (January-March).

Tourist arrivals from the Gulf and other regions totalled 841,025, which represents an 11% year-on-year increase. In comparison to the first quarter of 2014, visitor arrivals from the Americas also grew by 17%, from Europe by 9% and from Asia by 7%.

The report also showed that visitors from various GCC countries, Qatar’s largest tourism market, increased by 16% in the first quarter.

Besides Saudi Arabia, visitor arrivals from Bahrain, Oman, and the UAE also grew by modest rates during the first quarter of this year.

Al-Qurese said they have been working closely with their partners to attract more tourists.