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Qatar to boost UK tourism ties at WTM

Qatar, one of the Middle East’s most rapidly developing destinations, has identified the UK as a key potential growth market in its drive to boost leisure tourism from Europe and plans to make this year’s World Travel Market a major showcase for the country’s travel sector.

More than 30 hotels, destination management companies and other industry suppliers will be exhibiting on the Qatar Tourism Authority’s stand (ME100) at the event, which takes place at the ExCel exhibition centre in London (3-6 November 2014).

This year the QTA’s major objective will be to introduce Qatar’s superb leisure and recreational facilities to the British and wider European travel trade. Qatar’s reputation as a top international business destination is well established and the focus has now shifted to building on this strong foundation and diversifying the country’s tourism industry. The emphasis is on the global leisure market and, in particular, the top end of the market to position the country as a luxury cultural destination.  

“The idea is to provide trade visitors with a comprehensive insight into the destination and its attractions. With a wide range of hotels and other tourism organisations taking part, including our five-star national airline Qatar Airways, the QTA stand is effectively a ‘one-stop shop’ for doing business with Qatar’s tourism sector,” said Mr Rashed AlQurese, the QTA Executive Director of Marketing & Promotions. 

He pointed out that British leisure tourism is expected to be the fastest growing segment in future. “We have seen a highly encouraging growth in interest from UK tour operators seeking to diversify their Middle East offerings to include Qatar and we plan to expand on these and new relationships at WTM.”  

WTM this year will also provide Qatar with an important platform for the promotion of its ‘Tawash’ online destination training programme for travel agents and other tourism professionals in the UK market. Visitors to the QTA stand will have the opportunity to sign up to join the programme at, via on-stand tablets, and start the process of becoming authoritative experts on Qatar and  joining the prestigious rank of Qatar ambassadors. The initial 50 UK ‘Tawash’ Qatar qualifiers will be rewarded during the show, with an authentic pearl presentation for their achievement.

In a related promotion, QTA has announced the launch of a campaign to promote Qatar to the public via specially branded ‘Black Cabs’ that will ply their trade on London’s streets over the next three months. Strategically planned to coincide with WTM, this campaign designed to intensify efforts to attract the ‘winter-break’ visitor to Qatar. The promotional activity around WTM complements the QTA’s targeted year-round programme to boost leisure tourism. In recent years, the country has emerged as one of the Middle East’s most rapidly developing destinations and the QTA’s ambitious plans to increase tourist numbers from the current level of some 2.6 million to more than seven million a year by 2030 has prompted a major hotel building boom. This has been given added impetus by the need to increase accommodation capacity ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. 

With a number of projects in development that will reinforce Qatar’s growing status as the Gulf’s ‘Capital of Culture’, Qatar has all the necessary ingredients for success as a leisure destination, combining year-round sunshine, a clean and safe environment, sightseeing opportunities, sports and shopping, as well as its many  heritage attractions.  In particular, Qatar offers visitors a fascinating flavour of local culture and traditions and this has a special appeal for those seeking looking for new and different holiday experiences.

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