Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority's participation in International Luxury Travel Market in Cannes last week revealed a new tendency : Qatar has become an attractive destination for luxury travelers and businessmen. Record numbers of VIP buyers, travel agents, and MICE organizers visited the stand to find out more about Qatar as a business and upscale leisure destination, and held productive meetings with Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority's representatives and Qatari partners.
Already world-wide known as a travel hub, with 10 millions passengers going through Doha International Airport in 2007, Qatar is now raising interest of new travelers as a new stay destination, easily reached from countries who had never expressed such an interest for the peninsula.
Speaking from the new promotional stand of QTEA, Ms. Sadeem Al Mahmied, Head of Marketing of Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, explained : "Qatar is seen as a one of the trendiest new destination for upscale meetings organisers, as most leaders and deciders organize their meetings all over the world, they are in constant need of new destination away from mass-tourism. Qatar offers a perfect environment for such a business tourism combined with leisure, just a drop away from the European market, yet offering a very different experience, with Arabian traditions and all luxury facilities. Lots of new buyers came to our stand, expressing a strong enthusiasm to visit Qatar."
Buyers happened to be very serious in their inquiries, knowing exactly what they were seeking in terms of quality and uniqueness. Yet most of them were happily surprised to find that such a small country had so many increasing facilities and state-of-the-art infrastructures, and such a cultural pride shared with an open-mind.
Representatives of some of top Qatar's travel agencies and hotels, felt the same impression during the three days of International Luxury Travel Market. Mr Sherif Sabry, from Sharq Village & Spa, commented: "For the first time I noticed a very strong interest from Russian buyers, who represented most of my appointments. Last year their answer was very negative, some even telling they would perhaps consider Qatar as a destination in a few years. They are now really focused on Qatar, as a business and leisure destination, looking for a deep print of lively culture. Swiss and US market expressed also a new keenness towards Qatar as an attractive cultural and leisure destination, seeking in our hotel Qatar's culture."
Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority will continue to promote Qatar in forthcoming travel and tourism events around the world. These include ITB in Berlin, GIBTM in Abu Dhabi and also the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.