Press release by Qatar Tourism Authority, May 2018
Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and 11 industry partners returned to IMEX Frankfurt between 15 and 17 May. In addition to showcasing the country’s full range of hotels, state-of-the art venues, tour operators and event management companies, the delegation strengthened ties with industry stakeholders and promoted Qatar as an attractive business events destination in the region.
Since Qatar’s last participation in IMEX, the country has introduced visa policy changes which have made Qatar easier to visit and the most open country in the GCC region. The changes include an entry-visa waiver for more than 80 nationalities, a free 96-hour transit visa, an online visa service through www.qatarvisaservice.com, and electronic travel authorization (ETA) for visitors of all nationalities holding residencies and/or visas to Schengen Countries, U.K., U.S., Canada, Australia or New Zealand.
Qatar also launched the Next Chapter of its National Tourism Sector Strategy which charts a pathway to more diverse tourism products and an enhanced visitor experience. The strategy prioritises Business Events as a major contributor to visitor arrivals.
“Our focus at IMEX Frankfurt this year was to create new ties with the MICE industry, and build on existing ones,” commented Ahmed Al Obaidli, Director of Exhibitions at QTA. “Since the launch of the Next Chapter in September of last year, the sector has taken steady steps to grow and accelerate the development of its offerings across the leisure and business tourism spectrums, giving international business visitors ample opportunity to enjoy authentic tourism experiences, both inside and beyond the venue walls.”
Since Qatar’s participation at IMEX last year, the country has hosted the IATA’s 31st annual Ground Handling Conference. It has also announced hosting the first Middle East edition of ICEIRD (International Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development) later in 2018; the AICR annual congress in 2021 as well as the Clefs d’Or International Congress also in 2021.
And, as part of its commitment to further strengthen ties in the international association meetings industry, QTA has recently partnered with ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) to become a globally-recognised Association Relations Partner (ARP).
QTA is already leveraging its new status with ICCA and has set plans to host ICCA Qatar International Meetings Expert Session on the 17th and 18th of September in Doha. The two-day session will provide attendees a unique opportunity to learn from leading experts in the international meetings industry and is specially designed for meetings industry suppliers and local associations in Qatar and the Middle East.
Business Events is a key sub-sector of Qatar’s tourism industry, with more than 150 business events taking place in Qatar annually. The country has already invested heavily in infrastructural developments that will provide a major boost to the business events industry, such as the 300km Doha Metro projectanda large number of 3-, 4- and 5-star hotels coming online, all of which will substantially enhance Qatar’s ability to host world-class events.
Qatar’s 127 m2 pavilion at IMEX Frankfurt showcased the country’s expanding business event options. It was located at stand number E600 and the delegation included representatives from the following tourism sector partners:
1. Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC)
2. Marriott Marquis
3. Middle East Adventures
4. Mondrian Doha – Morgans Hotel Group
5. Qatar International Adventures
7. Sharq Village & Spa
8. Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel
9. The Ritz-Carlton, Doha
10. The Torch Doha
11. W Doha Hotel
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About Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA)
Qatar Tourism Authority’s mission is to firmly establish Qatar on the global map as a place where cultural authenticity meets modernity, and where people of the world come together to experience unique offerings in culture, sports, business and family entertainment.
In 2014, QTA launched the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy (QNTSS), which seeks to diversify the country’s tourism offering and increase the sector’s contribution to Qatar’s economy by 2030. In 2017, the Next Chapter of QNTSS was launched, charting the next five years (2017-2023) of the tourism sector’s growth.
Since launching QNTSS, Qatar has welcomed over 10 million visitors. The economic impact of the tourism sector in Qatar is becoming increasingly visible with 2016 estimates showing a total (direct and indirect) contribution to Qatar’s GDP of 6.7%. www.visitqatar.qa, @QTACorporate