WTM 2017: Qatar Tourism Authority set to showcase developing offering

WTM 2017: Qatar Tourism Authority set to showcase developing offering

Qatar Tourism Authority is returning to London to exhibit at World Travel Market 2017, one of the leading events in the global travel trade calendar.

The QTA stand will showcase a strong delegation of leading private sector partners including hotels, destination management companies and other hospitality suppliers, providing a comprehensive one-stop welcoming service to the international travel trade.

QTA’s presence at WTM comes at a significant time in the country’s tourism development.

In the past months, Qatar has taken huge strides in implementing visa policies to facilitate visitor access to the country, resulting in Qatar now qualifying as the most open country in the region.

It is now easier than ever before for visitors from nearly half of the world’s countries to discover the destination’s renowned hospitality, cultural heritage and natural treasures.

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In August 2017, Qatar’s Ministry of Interior, Qatar Tourism Authority, and Qatar Airways announced that nationals of 80 countries are now eligible for visa-free entry, without requiring any prior applications or fee payments.

A recent addition also includes the Electronic Travel Authorisation System, available to visitors of all nationalities who hold valid residence permits or visas from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Schengen countries, or the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

QTA attaches strong importance to the UK, which remains Qatar’s largest European source market.

QTA’s effort in this market, including close partnerships with the UK travel trade, has led to travellers discovering Qatar’s merits as a leisure tourism destination.

Perfectly located geographically, Qatar is also the ideal destination to visit as part of a stopover for travellers before connecting to their final destination.

Visitors can travel to Qatar as a standalone trip or as part of a stopover itinerary, on-board the national carrier, Qatar Airways, which connects Doha to more than 150 destinations across six continents.

Qatar welcomed 1.46 million visitors in the first half of 2017, representing a net growth of one per cent compared to the same period in 2016.

Further breakdown by visa type shows a 23 per cent increase in global leisure visitors, demonstrating the increasingly diverse leisure options for tourists seeking family-friendly entertainment and authentic hospitality.

This growth signals that QTA’s strategy to diversify its source markets and enhance its visitor experience is on track.

Qatar also witnessed a 39 per cent increase in stopover visitors thanks to the introduction of a free 96-hour transit visa, combined with the success of the +Qatar campaign, which offered stopover passengers a free night’s stay in a five- or four-star hotel throughout the summer.