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Posted On: 18 May 2009 09:22 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Tourism panel seeks simpler visa rules

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Qatar’s fast-paced hospitality industry wants tourist and family visa rules simplified more to provide the needed boost to tourism. Members of the tourism committee of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI), who represent the local hospitality and travel trade, met here yesterday to mull ways to bolster tourism in the country. A number of proposals were discussed, among them the need to reduce taxes on air tickets during longer vacations like the summer break so as to attract more tourist inflow into the country. The panel, belonging to the business association, noted that to woo more international tourists it was necessary to have simple family and tourist visa rules. The current visa regime is stricter and hampers efforts to woo tourists,” said the panel. And to take up the issue directly with the authorities concerned the panel has decided to invite for discussions heads of immigration department and the airport authority. There are some taxes imposed on air tickets which can be lifted, especially during the long summer break to attract foreign tourists, said the panel. The idea of hotels and restaurants launching promotions by offering discounts during vacations also came up for a threadbare debate and it was decided that these outlets be provided enough incentives to be able to launch such promotions by offering up 50 percent discounts on their rates. The panel is likely to urge the Tourism Authority to provide it in advance lists of events and festivals it lines up in a year so that they can be promoted among potential international tourists.