Minister of Commerce and Industry H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Abdullah Al Thani, H E Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani and Qatar Tourism Chairman H E Saad bin Ali Al Kharji along with other officials at the opening of Qatar Travel Mart, yesterday.
Doha, Qatar: Qatar has solidified its standing as a global tourism hotspot, said a top official during the opening of the second edition of the Qatar Travel Mart (QTM) at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) yesterday.
Chairman of Qatar Tourism, H E Saad bin Ali bin Saad Al Kharji said in his welcoming address that the country has firmly positioned itself as a world-class destination for tourism. Notably, the country has witnessed a remarkable surge in visitors, with nearly three million individuals exploring its attractions, surpassing figures from the last five years, he explained.
Qatar Tourism’s data show the country welcomed over 2.56 million visitors from January to August 25 this year. This figure not only surpassed the total arrivals for the entire year of 2022 but also marked a staggering 157% increase from the same period of the previous year.
This accomplishment underscores Qatar’s ascending global stature as a premier tourism destination, a recognition propelled by the successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which has firmly etched Qatar onto the international tourism map.
The extension of Hayya visa and the relaunch of the Hayya platform have further contributed to the upswing in Qatar’s tourism sector. The Hayya platform has become the go-to portal for travellers seeking visas to enter Qatar.
Al Kharji said QTM is a strategic event crucial for staying abreast of the latest developments in the tourism and travel industry.
He welcomed participants from 60 countries, stressing the event’s significance in promoting Qatar’s rich culture. “This is a very important event for us, and we believe that Qatar and the Arabian Peninsula provide opportunities to live through and experience which combines the past and present.”
“Qatar continues to offer unparalleled opportunity for exploration by global travellers and we look forward to showcasing the latest advancements made by our tourism industry over the next three days while collaborating with our valued partners to ensure the continued success and growth of our sector.”
Co-Founder and General Manager, NeXTfairs for Exhibitions and Conferences, Rawad Sleem said: “This year’s event marks a momentous occasion for QTM with a 50% expansion in scale — over 250 exhibitors, and 100 buyers from 60 countries converge to chart the course for Qatar’s thriving travel industry. From exclusive programmes to a compelling agenda, QTM 2023 promises to ignite growth, celebrate achievements, and navigate the road to a sustainable tourism future post-World Cup.”
The event was inaugurated by Minister of Commerce and Industry, H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Abdullah Al Thani; Chairman of Qatari Hotels Association and Qatari Businessmen Association, H E Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani; and other officials. The opening also drew over 100 VIPs including ambassadors and delegates from 60 countries.
Organised by NEXTfairs, QTM 2023 is expected to attract around 9,000 visitors, showcasing seven key sectors: sports, meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE), cultural, leisure, luxury, medical, and halal tourism. The event aims to broaden its scope beyond the sports industry, welcoming entities such as destination management companies (DMCs), tour operators, travel agencies, travel technology companies, associations, and tourism boards, both domestically and internationally.
Open to public with free registration, the event will run until November 22, from 10am to 7pm.