Great interest in Qatar from Latin America at IMEX
The presentation seating area at the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) pavilion at the Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings and Events (IMEX) in Frankfurt was standing room only. Incentive travel and events planners came from around the world – South America, Asia and Europe - to learn about Qatar as a new and unique destination to consider for their clients' travels.
The soon-to-open Qatar Airways routes from Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Ares to Doha raised interest among a large group of South American operators. Gilberto Bocchino of European Travel in Brazil commented: "This is my first introduction to Qatar. With a new direct flight to Rio de Janeiro with Qatar Airways starting in June, I wanted to find out more about the country and its attractions to consider it as a destination for my clients. I liked what I saw in the presentation – and look forward to organizing many trips to Qatar." Claudio Fernandez of Leisure Express in Argentina was lucky to get a seat in the presentation. "From what I just saw, I am very interested in Qatar. A short week in Qatar will be perfect for an incentive trip."
An increase in interest also came from around Asia – China, Malaysia, Korea. Orlanno Fan of Poloair Holidays Shanghai Ltd had visited Qatar before. "But now, there is so much more to see in Qatar - more hotels, more attractions. I plan incentive travel for groups and am looking for new ideas. I have heard about the expansion in Qatar and wanted to see what was new."
The Qatar stand hosted many European visitors also, including many groups of German operators from the conference and incentive management sector. Germany is Europe's leading outbound market, as in addition to significant business travel, Germans often plan their annual holidays outside their home country, and most often to a warm destination. Many German visitors to the Qatar stand were delighted to learn about the 48 hours stopover campaign as a new option.
The participant feedback was also positive."My meetings happened to be with mainly European clients," Wael Rashid of W Hotel and Residence commented. "Many know about our property globally, and were pleased to know that we are established in Doha. The meetings will bear fruit. I feel we will be seeing an increase in demand for next year." Hossein Vetry of Sharq Village & Spa and Ritz Carlton Hotel also noted a positive outlook. "I had some good, quality meetings. By lunchtime on the first day of the exhibition, we had already closed on some business. The word about Qatar as a new destination is spreading."
"There is huge potential for increased tourism between the Latin American market and Qatar," said Cristina Mules, Marketing at Qatar Tourism Authority. "For the first time, we had a lot of interest from this group looking at Qatar as a new destination for their clients. We will work closely with these large operators to build incentive travel itineraries. Overall, the exhibition in Frankfurt was good for us."
QTA took part in IMEX, a top global trade show focused on incentive travel and exhibitions, in Frankfurt from 25 to 27 May. The Qatar delegation included executives from the Qatar National Convention Centre, Qatar MICE Development, Grand Hyatt Doha, W Doha Hotel and Residences, Renaissance Doha City Center Hotel, La Cigale Hotel, Sharq Village & Spa, Ritz Carlton Hotel, Doha Marriott, Qatar International Adventures, FAL Travelmart, and the Diplomatic Club.
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