NeXTfairs for Exhibitions & Conferences announced that Qatar Travel Mart Conference -to be held next 16-18 November at Doha Exhibition and Convention Center- has attracted more than 75 local and international companies covering various sectors such as: airlines, hotels and resorts, tour operators, DMCs, cruise lines, transportation and travel technology companies.
Rawad Sleem, Co-founder & General Manager of NeXTfairs for Exhibitions and Conferences, highlighted that QTM will be under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. The event will provide insights and new perspectives to the future of tourism, while also offering most sought-after travel destinations, real estate development projects and up-to-date Luxury, Business, Medical, Sports, MICE, Halal Tourism, Leisure and Cultural tourism trends.
Sleem pointed out that Qatar Tourism is the strategic partner of QTM, while Discover Qatar and Qatar Airways Holidays are the leisure partners. He added that the event will attract wide international participation, including: Italy, Cyprus, the Maldives, Azerbaijan, Rwanda, the Dominican Republic and other countries that seek to enhance their presence in the Qatari market.
Sleem indicated that Retaj Hotels and Hospitality, which is one of the most prominent companies in Qatar, is a gold sponsor of QTM, along with Doha Bus, a Qatari company that provides programs and transportation services to the tourism in a modern way to introduce the landmarks of Qatar, adding a fun atmosphere to tourists from all over the world.
Sleem explained that the wide participation of both local and international companies reflects the great confidence in the Qatari market. Moreover, it confirms the start of the recovery phase of tourism and hospitality from the repercussions of Coronavirus, especially that Qatar’s global tourism attractiveness is now higher than ever as the World Cup 2022 countdown draws closer.
Sleem stressed that only fully vaccinated people will be allowed into the exhibition whether from the staff members or the visitors. Furthermore, all the precautionary measures will be applied to ensure the health and safety of the participants, exhibitors and visitors during the exhibition. The measures include regular and consistent disinfection of the halls and the public and private places as well as ensuring thorough disinfection of areas that entail meeting and communicating with visitors, especially reception halls, and other common places. The disinfection process will be carried out by highly trained technicians in accordance with international safety standards wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and using the latest spray technology.
Sleem noted that the latest data issued by the World Travel and Tourism Council indicated that the contribution of the travel and tourism sector to Qatar’s GDP amounted to 63.6 billion riyals, an estimated rate of 9.1% in 2019, just before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic. Moreover, the Council indicates that the tourism industry and its related services provides about 250,1 thousand jobs, representing 11.8% of the total workforce in Qatar. As for the international visitor spending on travel and tourism in Qatar, it amounted to about 48.4 billion riyals in 2019.
Sleem stressed that tourism is a priority sector fundamental to economic diversification, which has been set as a key objective in the Qatar National Vision 2030. The sector has witnessed great development in terms of regulations and legislation that has promoted Qatar's openness in tourism giving the local market the opportunity to attract the most prominent hotel brands in the world. Furthermore, Qatar tops the list of investment destinations in terms of returns on tourism and hotel investments in the Middle East.
He added that the new governing body “Qatar Tourism” that has replaced “Qatar National Tourism Council” reflects the great interest of Qatar in developing the tourism and travel sector. At the same time, it enhances the integration between the national strategy of tourism and hospitality sector, helping to achieve its goals of attracting 5.6 million visitors to Qatar annually by 2023, raising the contribution of leisure tourism to reach 67% of the total number of visitors, and sustain the occupancy rate in hotels at 72% by increasing demand and diversifying tourist accommodation options, so that it fits different categories of visitors.