1) Rashed, you have launched a new QNTC campaign “Qurated for you” in November 2018. How does this tagline connect to the IMEX 2019 Motto of “Imagination”?
The inspiration for IMEX 2019 is Imagination – celebrating curiosity and creativity which is also at the heart of our first global destination campaign: ‘Qatar, Qurated for you.’ Curating requires professional or expert knowledge to select, organise and present unique experiences and we are creating bespoke authentic experiences for different segment of tourists in line with our Next Chapter of tourism strategy.
Imagination is also the driving force behind Qatar’s larger vision. We take the unique features of our environment and turn the unimaginable into reality. If you look around Doha, you see examples of this everywhere. From the stadiums being constructed for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup™ to our metro trains, each project has been envisioned to showcase innovation, yet it reflects the heritage of the country. The newly opened National Museum of Qatar for instance, is inspired by the desert rose – a design that is distinctly modern yet rooted in our nature and our heritage much like Qatar itself.
2) QNTC promotes the destination for intl. business events in context with the main knowledge sectors in the country – Education, Health, Oil&Gas, Sport, Urban Development etc. How will you continue to apply this strategy?
QNTC’s board has representatives from various sectors that brings about unity, clarity and swift decision making for the benefit of the industry. It paves the way for seamless implementation of key initiatives to develop solid tourism infrastructure and deliver exceptional visitor experiences. Hence, we are looking at an exciting period of growth and development of the tourism industry overall while facilitating the development and sustainable growth of the business events sector as well.
As part of the new governance model, we’ve recently established Qatar Business Events Corporation, an entity that will act as QNTC’s executive arm to organize, manage, operate and supervise events and venues in the state of Qatar. Connecting knowledge sectors to the private sector, QBEC acts as the point of contact, helping attract international business events to Qatar thereby curating more enriching MICE experiences for business visitors.
Last year, we hosted over 150 exhibitions and conferences in various fields and won the rights to host eightmajor business events to be held between 2019 and 2022 with a prospective number of participants reaching 2,400. By attracting events which match Qatar’s growth sectors, we create more enriching experiences for business visitors.
We also offer event businesses a range of services to facilitate their entry into our country – from supporting organisers in delivering events, to connecting them with public/private sector entities, to helping them set up local offices. We work with stakeholders in the public and private sectors to facilitate entrepreneurship and business.
3) What drives you personally in marketing your destination?
I feel fortunate to be a part of QNTC’s journey in this exciting period of growth and development for Qatar’s tourism sector since the launch of our destination brand in 2015. With our fast-growing presence in priority visitor source markets and diversification of tourism offerings, we have a lot going for us on every front as we develop our tourism sectors through groundbreaking initiatives that have earned us global recognition.
Marketing our MICE offerings has been equally exciting with the growing number of major business events that we are winning the rights to host and our global partnerships such as with the Union of International Fairs (UFI), the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), and the International Association of Exhibitions & Events (IAEE), who we are working with to further develop our business events sector. With support of these partners and the establishment of ‘Qatar Business Events Corporation (QBEC)’ in addition to a host of new hospitality offerings and authentic tourism experiences, we are confident that these numbers will continue to increase.
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About Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC)
Qatar National Tourism Council’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.
QNTC’s work is guided by 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 (2018-2023) of the tourism sector’s growth.
In 2018, QNTC launched a global destination campaign under the tagline ‘Qatar, Qurated for you.’ Curating requires professional or expert knowledge to select, organise and present unique experiences. As such, the Qurated campaign plays on the word’s definition and the destination brand’s iconic Q to underscore the country’s focus on delivering tailored visitor-centric experiences.
Since launching QNTSS, Qatar has welcomed over 12 million visitors. The economic impact of the tourism sector in Qatar is becoming increasingly visible with 2017 estimates showing a total (direct and indirect) contribution to Qatar’s GDP of 6.6%.
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