Qatar has launched the next chapter of its National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030, which charts the next five years of the tourism sector’s growth in the destination.
The bold and transformative plan was announced by Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar prime minister and minister of interior, at the UNWTO official celebration of World Tourism Day, which is being hosted this year in Doha.
The document defines what Qatar will be known for as a tourist destination, and guides the development of products, services, and experiences that will bring this vision to life.
Khalifa Al Thani also announced that in the coming months, the sector’s governance will be reorganised around a new National Tourism Council that is empowered to focus and integrate the efforts of key stakeholders and facilitators in ways that will provide clarity, direction, and momentum for the tourism sector’s improvement and growth.
The next chapter charts a clear path of action for product and service development that will define the Qatar tourism experience.
Hassan Al Ibrahim, chief tourism development officer, Qatar Tourism Authority, explained: “Together with our partners in the public and private sectors, we have explored the most effective ways to build on the strong foundations that have been laid for the tourism sector since 2014, and to further develop the country’s existing cultural and natural assets.
“As a result, the Next Chapter positions Qatar as a hub to discover - where cultural authenticity meets modernity, where the sand meets the sea, and where people of the world come together to experience unique offerings in culture, sports, business and family entertainment.”
Al Ibrahim added that the next chapter introduces a tourism blueprint for the country, outlining how this positioning will come to life over the next five years.
This blueprint identifies six geographic zones across the country and ties each zone to tourism themes based on the area’s geographic characteristics and natural assets.
Local and international investors will be invited to develop tourism products and services in each geographic zone, in line with its proposed theme.
He continued: “The opportunities presented in the next chapter are boundless.
“Professionals, investors, and the people of Qatar, all have the chance to be part of building what Qatar will be known for in the minds of visitors, for decades to come.”
In addition to the development of tourism products, the next chapter also details a plan to expand the country’s calendar of year-round tourism festivals and events, and to generate global interest in the country through expanding Qatar’s global network of tourism promotion offices.
Ensuring the best possible end-to-end experience for visitors to Qatar is at the heart of the next chapter.
The strategy lays out plans and measures that are designed to ensure favourable experiences at every touch point of the visitor’s journey.
These include programs to facilitate interactions and shared experiences between Qatar’s residents and its guests, as well as the creation of tourism experience units in all relevant public and private sector entities that will be tasked with ensuring that their organisations’ services are continuously enhanced to provide remarkable experiences for Qatar’s visitors.
The next five years will also witness intensive efforts to ensure infrastructure, both physical and digital, is in place to facilitate visitors’ journeys to, from and within Qatar.
In addition, training programmes will be developed and provided to all government and private sector employees in tourist-facing jobs.
The Next Chapter aims to attract 5.6 million visitors to Qatar annually by 2023, double the number which the country welcomed in 2016.
It also aims to achieve a 72 per cent occupancy rate across all hotel establishments, through a combination of increasing demand and diversifying the country’s tourist accommodation offering.
Also by 2023, the strategy aims to have increased tourism’s direct contribution to Qatar’s gross domestic product from QAR 19.8 billion in 2016 to QAR 41.3 billion, representing a direct contribution to the GDP of 3.8 per cent (compared to 3.5 per cent in 2016).