Qatar is emerging as a global tourist destination, drawing in millions of visitors and tourists every year. A growing number of people are coming to Qatar for business, tourism and work because of fast-paced economic development over the past two decades. Tourism has been identified as one of five priority sectors integral to diversifying Qatar’s economy and increasing private sector participation.
Qatar Tourism (QT) revealed yesterday that Qatar welcomed over 2.56 million visitors from January until August 25, 2023, exceeding the full-year arrival figures witnessed in 2022 and marking a 157 percent increase over the same period last year.
Qatar is working to simplify visa policies to send a message that it welcomes the world. The new visa policies have resulted in Qatar becoming the most open country in the region and the eighth most open in the world, according to visa openness rankings released by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in August 2018. This high ranking reflects a string of visa facilitation measures introduced by the nation, including allowing nationals of 88 countries to enter Qatar visa-free and free of charge.
Besides, the country sees the involvement of international investors as critical to the development of a tourism industry. Therefore, it has a dedicated Investment Promotions Unit to facilitate foreign investments.
The country offers experiences that combine tradition with the modernity. Thanks to its strategic location, being at the crossroads between East and West, the number of flight hours separating it from many of the world’s major capitals ranges between six to seven, and 80 percent of the world’s population can reach Qatar after a short flight lasting less than six hours.
The FIFA World Cup last year was the high point of travel to Qatar, when around 1.5 million people came to Doha from across the globe. The tournament resulted in massive infrastructure development in Qatar, which would continue benefiting the country in years to come.
The total number of tourists arriving in Qatar increased by 91.4 percent last July, reaching about 288,000 visitors compared to July 2022. The tourist arrivals in July increased by 2.1 percent compared to June 2022. Cruise tourism brings over 100,000 visitors to Qatar every year, enabling them to enjoy the many landmarks that are minutes away from Doha Port, including Souq Waqif, the Museum of Islamic Art, the Doha Corniche and the National Museum of Qatar.
Having a five-star airline Qatar Airways and a global aviation hub Hamad International Airport, coupled with a simplified visa regime have contributed to the rise in number of visitors to the country. The country has made huge investments in its tourism infrastructure, building world-class hotels, tourist attractions and a modern mass transit system.
Source : ThePeninsula