Doha, Qatar - Qatar Airways (QA) and Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) signed an agreement today with VFS Global - leading provider of visa processing services - in the presence of Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MOI). The agreement paves the way for an efficient and transparent tourist visa application that caters to travelers from around the world looking to visit Qatar.
This is a major step in improving Qatar’s tourist visas, as well as tourism in Qatar as a whole. Around 38 nations have already been included to receive visas immediately upon application. The visa application process will be available online 24/7 and visas will be processed within 48 hours. All visas are approved and issued at the discretion of the MOI.
Visitors from Russia, China, and India are now among the nations currently in the process of being able to receive tourist visas into Qatar. This will be hopefully implemented within a few weeks, according to Qatar Airways Chief Executive, HE, Akbar Al Baker.
The agreement shows how Qatar is stepping up its efforts to attract and welcome more visitors into the country, which aligns with the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 (QNTSS).
“Qatar Airways has been bringing tourists to Qatar for nearly two decades and today’s announcement marks another milestone in our commitment to making Doha a world-class tourist destination,” said HE, Akbar Al Baker. “Qatar’s tourism industry is experiencing exponential growth and the visa advancements announced today will further support our country’s vision to invite and welcome visitors from around the world to experience all that Qatar has to offer.”
HE Akbar Al Baker also thanked the MOI’s General Directorate of Nationality, Borders and Expatriate Affairs and QTA for making the announcement today.
During the signing ceremony held today, Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer at QTA, commented on the growth of Qatar’s tourism sector in recent years. He said the agreement is testament to the public-private partnerships that are employed in the development of the sector, creating positive impacts across the tourism value chain and the broader economy.
“It is a great source of pride for us all at QTA to be making this announcement only two and a half years after the launch of QNTSS. Facilitating the visa application process is an important step in our drive to increase the number of visitor arrivals to Qatar and in raising inbound tourism spending,” said Hassan Al Ibrahim.
QA and QTA will be working with VFS Global and MOI over the next couple of months to establish the new tourist visa application process, after which the full details of the system will be announced and provided. These measures are expected to increase Qatar’s openness ranking on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index.
Brigadier Abdullah Salim Al Ali, Director General of the General Directorate of Nationality, Borders and Expatriate Affairs said, “Qatar’s Ministry of Interior continuously strives to make government services as smooth and efficient as possible, while ensuring that Qatar’s security is not compromised.”
VFS Global offers convenient and efficient visa application services, and in partnership with QA and QTA will aim to support passengers on their journeys as well as aid Qatar’s booming tourism industry by simplifying the process.
The CEO of VFS Global, Zubin Karkaria, said, “We are pleased to partner with Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority to make the Qatar visa application process available to travelers globally, through online and mobile platforms. These new channels, which are sure to prove convenient and beneficial for visitors here, signify the next level of flexibility and security in the visa application process.”
What do you think of the new tourist visa process that will be introduced? Comment below!
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