The Details on Doha's new "Tourism Sector Strategy 2030"
Qatar wants to attract 7 million visitors by 2030 (File Archive)
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Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, Chairman of the Qatar Tourism Authority ( QTA ), officially unveiled the ‘Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030’ on Monday during a launch ceremony at the cultural village Katara in Doha. Drawing inspiration from the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy 2011-2016, the Strategy sets out an ambitious roadmap for the State’s tourism sector. The launch event was attended by UN World Tourism Organization Secretary General, Ministers, other government officials, industry stakeholders, and media.
The National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 envisions positioning Qatar as ‘a world class hub with deep cultural roots’, further placing the country on the world tourism map and allowing people from around the world to recognize and appreciate what it has to offer via its unique culture and heritage.
The Strategy was developed through a nationwide consultative process led by QTA and involving public and private sector organizations, civil society, key industry stakeholders, and opinion leaders. “Tourism is a vital pillar in Qatar’s development efforts and a key driver of socioeconomic growth in the country” said Al Mohannadi. “The Strategy strives to fully capitalize on Qatar’s tourism potential and represents the aspirations of the Qatari people for the future of their country. It will help reinforce Qatar’s regional and international standing as a premium destination offering authentic experiences, business facilitation, and family-focused recreation, all while expanding and promoting the country’s sports, health and wellness, nature, and educational tourism offering as well”, he added.
The strategy is set to expand the economy, grow the number of SMEs, and encourage entrepreneurship and a greater role for the private sector in the economy. By 2030, the Strategy is set to increase tourism’s total contribution to the national GDP, enhance the total tourist spend in Qatar to nearly $10.7 billion dollars, and achieve a greater balance in the breakdown of tourists to Qatar by market of origin and purpose of visit. More than 60 new strategic tourism development initiatives are in the pipeline, with the first of them having already been launched in January 2014.
Hassan Al Ibrahim, QTA Director of Strategy, said “our aim is to have the tourism industry contribute a total of 5.1 percent to GDP by 2030, up from 2.6 percent today. $40 to 45 billion of investments by the government and the private sector will make this vision a reality.”
In 2012, 1.2 million visitors made their way to Qatar, mainly from KSA and the other GCC countries. “Our target is to attract 7 million visitors to Qatar from all over the world by 2030,” said Al Ibrahim. Towards achieving this goal, QTA has already set up satellite offices in London and Paris, with eight more international offices set to open in the near future in key outbound markets.
The National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 builds on the current growth in tourism in Qatar and the development of first-rate infrastructure that has created an environment highly conducive to tourism through the exponential increase in the number of quality hotels and the construction of an advanced transportation network. The new Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC) is scheduled to open in 2014 and will be a game-changer for the MICE sector. Also opening in 2014 is Hamad International Airport, which is destined to become an important hub for transit passengers.
“Qatar has built a strong foundation for the tourism sector by developing a plethora of cultural offerings, sporting events, MICE facilities and leisure options,” said His Excellency the Chairman. “Now the time has come to build upon our past successes and bring our bold plans to fruition. The end result of the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 will be a thriving tourism sector that will be ready to handle the demands of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and far beyond. It will take a collaborative effort from all of Qatar working toward the success of our goals - the legacy of this Strategy will be better infrastructure and higher quality of leisure and entertainment for us all. Most of all, every Qatari will be proud of Qatar’s growing international profile as an economic and cultural force.”
As part of its mission to plan, regulate, develop and promote sustainable tourism in Qatar, QTA will closely monitor and ensure the timely and successful implementation of the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030, with the Strategy’s programs and projects to fall under the mandate of the respective government entities, in partnership with the private sector.
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