The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has announced it will work with travel representation and public relations firm Hills Balfour as it looks to establish itself as a leading destination for both leisure and business travel.
This exciting step in the QTA’s international marketing approach comes as part of its strategy to grow the destination’s tourism industry by 20 per cent in the next five years.
With 95 per cent of visitors to Qatar currently arriving as part of business trips or in transit to other destinations, a key focus in the short term is attracting these visitors to spend an additional 48 hours in the country.
And with coastline, dunes, year-round sun, great shopping and hotels as well as a packed calendar of sporting events, it has plenty for travellers seeking adventure and relaxation alike.
Qatar’s meetings and events sector is already a flourishing industry hosting over 60 major conferences each year.
This will be boosted by the addition of the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, due to open in 2014, alongside a 263 per cent increase in bed capacity from 8,000 to 29,000.
Following its successful bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as well as its bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, and its annual hosting of 80 international sports tournaments, the coming years will also see a focus on raising the destination’s sporting profile.
Under account directors Angie Sloan and Russell Meara, Hills Balfour will provide the Qatar Tourism Authority with trade and consumer marketing support, travel trade sales, meetings and convention marketing and an overarching strategic public relations programme to raise awareness of the destination.
Qatar Tourism Authority chairman, Ahmed Abdulla Al Nuami commented: “Qatar has witnessed a significant increase in its profile following the decision in December 2010 by FIFA to base the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. We must now capitalise on this opportunity by establishing the country as a centre for leisure and business tourism.
“Our partnership with Hills Balfour is a very positive step towards this aim, as we look to grow this area of our national economy.”
Qatar is a modern and thriving country in the heart of the Middle East, which offers a blend of authentic Arabian experiences, top class accommodation and facilities.
From a centre for fishing and pearling trades in a bygone era, its identity has been shaped by an age-old seafaring civilization. Despite embracing growth, Qatar has stayed true to its roots, offering attractions and activities that reflect the culture and environment of the region.