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Posted On: 6 November 2018 12:27 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:01 pm

National Tourism Council leads delegation to World Travel Market 2018

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Qatar’s National Tourism Council (NTC) is leading a delegation of public and private sector partners to the World Travel Market (WTM) 2018, the leading event in the global travel trade industry, which is taking place this week at ExCel London. The Qatar pavilion will showcase key developments in Qatar to international travel trade, while connecting them with hotels, destination management companies and other members of Qatar’s tourism industry. Qatar’s ambassador to the UK, HE Mr. Yousef Ali Al-Khater also visited the NTC stand at the WTM on the opening day where he met with the various partners exhibiting from Qatar.

Rashed AlQurese, Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer at NTC commented, “We have seen positive growth in visitor arrivals in Q3 2018 compared to the same period last year and, with new routes launched this year from Doha to various new destinations around the world, we expect this upward trend to continue.” He added, “Qatar’s message of welcoming the world has been recently reinforced through its ranking as the most open country in the Middle East - and the 8th most open in the world - according to UNWTO’s recently updated visa openness rankings.”

Spread over 385 square metres, the double-deck stand features a special Football Zone managed by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, which will introduce visitors to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ and the various hosting pillars that will ensure a truly unique tournament experience for visitors of Qatar in 2022. The stand will also include a special National Museum of Qatar Zone showcasing the iconic museum’s model, and a special zone for the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019. Additionally, it will have a majlis for media and trade partners to connect and discuss opportunities for collaboration, as well as a gallery to introduce Qatari culture to the exhibition’s visitors.

Nasser Al Khater, SC Assistant Secretary General for Tournament Affairs, said: “The 2022 FIFA World Cup is the first mega sporting-event to be hosted in the Arab World, and will bring with it the biggest influx of sports fans the region has seen – introducing them to Qatari and Arab culture and traditions. With Qatar being just a four-hour flight from two billion people, the tournament presents an unprecedented opportunity to project a true image of the Arab world in its peaceful and hospitable nature. Accordingly, it is important for us to be at events like the World Travel Market to introduce the global community to Qatar as the next host nation of the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and the various opportunities the tournament will present when it comes to the development of the tourism sector in the country.”

Commenting on the National Museum of Qatar’s participation at the pavilion, Khalid Al Ibrahim, Chief Strategic Planning Officer, stated: “Through a comprehensive portfolio of cultural and leisure offerings, Qatar Museums and the Qatar Tourism Authority have been working hand in hand to turn Qatar into a regional tourism hub. Once open, the National Museum of Qatar will join other iconic monuments in the country to tell visitors about Qatar’s proud past, thriving present and ambitious future.”

NTC has been successfully maintaining interest in the UK travel market for Qatar as a premium destination through active campaigns. Figures show that British visitors to Qatar increased by 20% in September 2018 compared to September 2017.

This year also, NTC has actively engaged British travel agents through a series of workshops and since January alone, a total of 724 agents have been trained at various events as well as through in-house training and webinars. Over 40 agents have been invited to Qatar for familiarization visits, while a number of visits from media and digital influencers resulted in major coverage in UK’s leading publications. Meanwhile the number of UK tour operators signing up for NTC’s Tawash online destination training program has increased to 1711 this year from 1000 registrations in 2016.

Now in its 39th year, World Travel Market generates more than £2.8 billion in travel and tourism deals. More than 51,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press attend this annual event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry trends. WTM also has a range of side events expected to be attended by over 18,000 attendees.

This year, the following co-participants will feature on the NTC stand, offering trade visitors comprehensive insights into the attractions and facilities Qatar has to offer: Qatar Airways, Katara Hospitality, Marsa Malaz Kempinski, Sheraton Doha, The Ritz Carlton, Grand Hyatt Doha, Four Seasons Hotel, Intercontinental Doha, First Travel, Golden Tulip Hotel, Mondrian Doha, Radisson Blu Hotel, Regency Travel, Rehlaty Travel, Sharq Village, Unique Choice, Wyndham Grand Regency, Amari Doha, Arabian Adventures, Century Hotel, Doha Bus and Discover Qatar.

Cover image courtesy of Qatar’s National Tourism Council