After the great momentum generated by the FIFA World Cup recently hosted by the State of Qatar, the Qatar Tourism Authority revealed a package of plans and programs for the new year 2023, as part of a strategy aimed at strengthening Qatar's position as a global tourist destination, by attracting 6 million visitors. visitors annually, and raising the contribution of the tourism sector to the gross domestic product to 12% by 2030.

Qatar Tourism announcement comes about 3 weeks after the end of the Qatar World Cup 2022, which put Qatar on the global tourism map and was the largest promotional campaign for the tourism sector in the country, after it was watched by billions of viewers around the world.

It is expected that the tourism sector will lead the plans to diversify the Qatari economy in the coming years, due to the great development witnessed by the infrastructure of the sector before the World Cup, where the most prestigious resorts, hotels, entertainment cities and beaches were launched.

Qatar also witnessed a significant increase in the number of hotel rooms, which reached 45,000 hotel rooms by the end of 2022.

In order to attract more than 6 million international visitors annually, and increase the contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the gross domestic product from 7% to 12% by 2030, Qatar Tourism is working to diversify the exporting markets for tourism to Qatar, as it targets new markets, including India and China.

Qatar Tourism has launched several initiatives to promote tourism facilities in the country (Shutterstock)

Double visitors

Qatar offers great facilities to attract tourists from all over the world, including exempting citizens of more than 95 countries from entry visas to the country.

In addition, the state plans to increase domestic spending in tourist destinations by 3 to 4 times, attract more domestic investments, and have a multiplier effect on the growth of the national economy.

Qatar Tourism has also launched many initiatives to promote tourism facilities in the country, as Qatar aims to triple the number of its visitors by 2030, making it the fastest growing destination in the region.

Among the most prominent programs of the new year is the launch of the cruise season on the 15th of this month, with expectations of the arrival of more than 100 confirmed visits to cruise ships and 12 brands, the reception of about 300 thousand visitors, and reservations exceeding 300 hotel nights.

In this context, Qatar Tourism Authority and Mwani Qatar announced the return of the cruise season 2022/2023, with the expected arrival of more than 50 cruise ships and nearly 200,000 visitors from January to the end of April. 2023.

A statement issued by the authority a few days ago stated that during this season, cruise ship passengers will be welcomed at the renovated Doha Port passenger terminal, which was recently home to major international cruise ships, which provided “floating accommodation” for thousands of international fans during the Qatar Cup period. World Qatar 2022, including MSC World Europa, MSC Opera and MSC Boesia.

Qatar offers great facilities to attract tourists from around the world (Reuters)

Distinctive jump

According to the latest statistics, the total income achieved by the State of Qatar during the first nine months of last year from the travel and tourism sector is about 14.7 billion riyals (4.04 billion US dollars), compared to about 10.5 billion riyals (2.9 billion dollars) registered during the first nine months of 2021. An increase estimated at 4.2 billion riyals ($1.15 billion), with an annual growth rate of about 40%.

These figures reflect the success of the State of Qatar in achieving a remarkable and significant leap in the field of tourism in light of the country's distinguished tourism infrastructure, which is confirmed by official statements and reports issued during the recent period by major international financial institutions.

In this regard, a report issued by "Knight Frank", a British real estate consulting company based in Doha, indicated that the State of Qatar will witness an increase in its hotel service market by 89%, to reach more than 56,000 hotel room keys by 2025, with the delivery of supplies. The planned hotel rooms, which are expected to cost around $7 billion, after around 30,000 keys were handed over in late 2021, and an additional 3,800 keys were received during the World Cup.

In addition, the hotel capacity in the State of Qatar has improved during the hosting of the World Cup, by providing more than 3,900 additional cabins in two luxury cruise ships, docked off the port of Doha.

Commenting on Qatar’s plans and programs for tourism for the current year, the international expert in the tourism and travel sector, Ayman Al-Kidwa, says that the tourism sector is one of the important tributaries to diversify sources of income away from the oil and gas sector, as Qatar has long realized the important role of tourism, and therefore it has taken many initiatives. In order to create a national strategy for the sector.

Al-Kidwa explains, in a statement to Al-Jazeera Net, that Qatar has been keen to develop the tourism sector and improve the tourism experience for visitors, by simplifying and facilitating visa policies and sending a message that the State of Qatar welcomes the world.

He noted that Qatar offers various tourism offers in many fields such as coastal tourism, desert tourism, cultural tourism, exhibition and conference tourism, as well as sports tourism, family and urban leisure tourism, spa tourism and marine tourism, as well as achieving a balance between supply and demand in the hospitality sector, and diversifying tourist accommodation options.

Ayman Al-Qudwa says that the tourism sector is one of the important tributaries to diversify Qatari income sources (Al-Jazeera)

Standard results are expected

He also indicated Qatar's keenness to provide the tourism sector with sufficient and necessary competencies and cadres, and to encourage investment by simplifying procedures and flexible laws.

Al-Kidwa added that the recent selection of Doha as the capital of Arab tourism for the year 2023 came to enhance Qatar's position as the first tourism destination in the Arab world, so the announcement of "Tourism Qatar" was not surprising in terms of the perfect timing in announcing the calendar (list) of diverse and distinctive events full of many things. Events, innovations, adventures and tourism programs for the year 2023.

The international expert expected the opening of more entertainment destinations throughout the country during the current year, attracting more domestic investments, and having a multiplier effect on the growth of the national economy and the tendency to raise its contribution to the gross domestic product from the promising tourism sector in the State of Qatar after an exceptional World Cup to achieve Qatar Vision 2030 in Reaching 6 million tourists annually.

For his part, tourism expert Ali Sabri expected the tourism sector to achieve record results during 2023, with the support of the impressive organization of the World Cup, which clearly reflected the great development boom that Qatar is witnessing in various sectors, especially the tourism sector.

Sabri added, in a statement to Al-Jazeera Net, that expectations indicate that Qatar's economy will grow by 3.4% in 2022 and 2023, thanks to the momentum of the World Cup, which will enhance Qatar's position on the global tourism map, which clearly appeared on the growth of the tourism sector in the country in the first half of the year. 2022.

He explains that if the number of tourists coming to the State of Qatar reaches 6 million visitors as targeted, this means the success of the tourism sector in contributing about $55 billion to the gross domestic product.

He pointed out that the hospitality sector succeeded in achieving record results during the months of November and December of last year, as occupancy rates ranged between 90 to 100%, stressing that these numbers can continue to be achieved during several months of the year after Qatar became famous in all countries of the world during the World Cup, in addition to having the finest hotels and resorts, and the best airline in the world, as well as Hamad International Airport, which won the best award in the world for the second year in a row.

The tourism expert pointed out that Qatar Tourism is keen to launch initiatives and programs throughout the year with the aim of attracting more tourists from different countries of the world. During the past weeks, it launched the "Qatar is more than a feeling" campaign, pointing out that this global campaign is set to expand in more than 17 tourist markets around the world.

He explained that there are also plans to launch a calendar full of events in the current year 2023 and beyond, and this year will include events that will last for more than 300 days, including “Qatar Live” performances, shopping offers, festivals and sporting events, as well as seasonal celebrations and holidays.