In a bid to strengthen and grow the destination’s presence and appeal in the Chinese market, Qatar is making its debut trade show appearance in China at the 14th China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market (COTTM) being held in Beijing from 16 to 18 April. Qatar’s delegation to the industry’s most prominent trade event in China is being led by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and consists of representatives from 12 hospitality partners and tour operators.
Qatar’s pavilion at COTTM was opened on Monday 16 April, and visited by Qatar’s Ambassador to China, His Excellency Sultan bin Salmeen Al Mansouri.
Hassan Al-Ibrahim, Acting Chairman of QTA said, “Our first appearance at COTTM follows on a series of significant steps taken to offer Qatar’s renowned hospitality to Chinese travelers as they discover our country’s cultural heritage and natural treasures.” He added, “Our efforts in China are being matched in Qatar where we are working closely with the local tourism and hospitality sector to ensure they are officially ready to welcome Chinese guests and tour groups.”
In September 2017, Qatar gained Approved Destination Status (ADS), allowing it to receive tourist groups from China and to promote Qatar as a tourism destination within China. QTA has since opened representative offices in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai.
Rashed AlQurese, Chief Marketing & Promotion Officer at QTA said, “We are pleased to have this year’s COTTM serve as a launchpad for a number of online initiatives that will complement the on-the-ground efforts of our representative offices in China. The online initiatives have been carefully tailored to suit the needs of Chinese travel trade and visitors to providing them the tools they need to plan future visits to Qatar, whether for business or leisure.”
The web-based promotional activities include the launch of the destination e-learning tool, Tawash (www.tawashqatar.cn) in Mandarin to allow Chinese travel agents to become certified Qatar destination experts. The Qatar destination is also going live on Sina Weibo and WeChat where Chinese netizens and industry partners can easily follow the destination’s updates and gain access to important travel planning information.
Thanks to Qatar’s recent visa policy changes, Chinese citizens can now enter Qatar visa free. The visa waiver is valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and entitles its holder to spend up to 30 days in Qatar, during either a single trip or on multiple trips. In addition, the five-star national carrier, Qatar Airways has 31 weekly direct flights connecting Doha to Beijing, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Shanghai, and Hangzhou in mainland China.
The first quarter of 2018 saw a 27% increase in Chinese visitor arrivals compared to the same period last year. Data analysis also shows that China is Qatar’s fastest growing source market. Chinese travelers interested in visiting Qatar can easily access information about the destination’s tourism offerings, including accommodation, activities, and key events, on www.visitqatar.qa/cn, which is available in Mandarin.
Qatar’s 120 m2 pavilion will showcase the country’s expanding tourism and hospitality options. It is located at stand number is 325 and the delegation includes representatives from the following tourism sector partners:
In the days that follow COTTM, Qatar’s delegation will be hosting a series of trade functions and workshops across China. On 18 April, QTA will host a Qatar Day event in Beijing and on 19 and 20 April, trade workshops will be held in Shanghai and Guangzhou respectively.
All images courtesy of QTA
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