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Chairman of Qatar Tourism sheds light on the future trajectory of tourism in the Gulf Region

Chairman of Qatar Tourism sheds light on the future trajectory of tourism in the Gulf Region

The Qatar Economic Forum commenced its 4th edition on May 14 under the theme ‘A World Remade: Navigating the Year of Uncertainty’. During the session titled ‘From the Gulf to the World: The Future of Tourism’, His Excellency Mr. Saad bin Ali Al Kharji, Chairman of Qatar Tourism, discussed the future of tourism in the Gulf region. The panel speakers included H.E. Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Mr. Sébastien Bazin, Group Chairman & CEO of Accor.

His Excellency Mr. Saad bin Ali Al Kharji emphasized the pivotal role of the FIFA World Cup 2022TM in supporting the region’s tourism industry growth. He noted that the tournament contributed significantly to portraying Arabian culture and Gulf heritage to the world, thereby attracting visitors and stimulating interest in the Gulf region’s unique culture. This resulted in notable growth in tourism investments, visitor numbers, and the development of new tourist destinations.

Furthermore, His Excellency highlighted that Qatar attracted over 4 million visitors in 2023, marking a 58.4% growth compared to 2022. By the first four months of 2024, visitor numbers exceeded 2 million. He underscored the role of tourism in job creation and emphasized the need for continuous infrastructure development to support the rapid growth of sectors such as transportation, agriculture, and construction, which contribute to creating both direct and indirect job opportunities.

Addressing the resilience of the tourism sector, His Excellency pointed out its ability to adapt to economic and geopolitical conditions and recover rapidly from crises. Despite challenges, global tourism has rebounded significantly from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with travel levels surpassing 88% of pre-pandemic levels worldwide and exceeding pre-pandemic levels in the Middle East.

Regarding Gulf tourism integration, the Chairman of Qatar Tourism emphasized unified efforts and cooperation between Gulf countries, particularly highlighting the development of the unified GCC Tourist Visa and the “Double Discovery” campaign launched jointly by Qatar and Saudi Arabia to enhance visitors’ experiences.


In discussing the link between tourism and sustainability, His Excellency Saad bin Ali Al Kharji elaborated on economic and environmental sustainability. He emphasized Qatar’s commitment to sustainable tourism practices, including wildlife and environmental preservation initiatives such as the conservation of the Whale Shark and Oryx.

Visit Qatar is the Tourism Sponsor for the fourth edition of the Qatar Economic Forum, powered by Bloomberg. This year’s forum, with over 2,300 participants, including 1200 government leaders, companies, and decision-makers from around the world, facilitates constructive dialogue on vital global issues impacting technology, energy, trade, and politics.

For media-related inquiries, please contact Qatar Tourism’s Press Office on:

+974 3392 4466 | [email protected]

About Qatar Tourism

Qatar Tourism’s mission is to establish Qatar 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, rooted in Service Excellence. Qatar Tourism will regulate and develop the tourism industry, encouraging investment from the private sector. It will set the national strategy for the tourism sector, reviewing it periodically and overseeing its implementation, with the aim of diversifying tourism offerings in the country and increasing visitor spend. Through our network of international offices in priority markets, and cutting-edge digital platforms, Qatar Tourism is expanding Qatar’s presence globally and enhancing the tourism sector.