Warwick Doha Warwick Doha

QATAR: The Next Step (Part 3)

In line with QTA’s strategy of targeting Kuwait and Oman for leisure trips, Kashif Javed Khan, director, sales and marketing, Governor West Bay Suites & Residences, underlined that the property is primarily targeting Kuwait, Oman, and Turkey, offering numerous summer promotions to add to the appeal.

Meanwhile, building on its success in H1, where revenue from events and food and beverage rocketed, Yasser Lotfy, director of finance, Warwick Doha, explained that the hotel is now targeting MENA and domestic tourists, creating tailored packages that are appealing to specific regions, whether for rooms, food and beverage, or its spa.

Agreeing that Oman and Kuwait are among its top target markets, which Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara is aspiring to attract through incentives, Fehlbier highlighted that the address is also placing an emphasis on domestic tourists.

He expounded, “[The resort] really is the perfect place to get away without going abroad so we are focussing our efforts on local families and residents.”

“[...] The increase of the staycation trend is every growing in the current economic climates and should not be underestimated,” concurred Derbas, while noting that the hotel has shifted its strategy to also target Russia and China.

Also setting sight on the world’s fastest growing outbound market, Maia Richa Masbanji, managing partner, Arrival to Departure, said, “For 2018, we will be targeting the Chinese market by attending Universal Tourism Exhibition 2017 in October.

The Chinese market has a huge potential for Qatar.”

PURPOSEFUL VISITS

As well as novel markets, Qatar is undergoing a metamorphosis to attract a wider variety of segments. Along with utilising its global position to tap into stopover trips, QTA is keen to promote Qatar as a destination in itself, with the intention of diversifying its products and services.

Historically known for its business appeal, Qatar is working to change this perception, through the promotion of its cultural heritage, modern cultural attractions as well as an array of events.

Echoing this, Masbanji illustrated, “Qatar is known as either a stopover or business destination, therefore we are trying to promote Doha as an incentive destination where tradition and modernisation are emerging to create a unique destination in the Gulf.”

Indicating the importance of repositioning the country as more than a corporate destination, Derbas explained, “In order to attract non-GCC travellers to Qatar, we are working closely with QTA to promote Qatar as a destination by endorsing the outstanding cultural assets that the country has to offer, promoting the hospitable and welcoming society, authentic traditional visitor experiences, world-class museums, galleries and public art installations, historic sites as well as heritage attractions to appeal to a larger leisure audience.”

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has also helped to secure Qatar’s place on the global map. Andrado explained, “[...] An active interest in sports has really exploded Qatar into the world scene.”

He continued to say that as well as projects for the upcoming football tournament, the government has also invested in a number of other developments to ensure the country retains its appeal beyond 2022.

Meanwhile, QTA is currently consulting with tourism stakeholders to review and refresh QTNSS, with Al Ibrahim revealing that the renewed strategy will be announced on September 27, to coincide with World Tourism Organization’s official World Tourism Day celebrations in Qatar.

Acknowledging that its tourism industry has transformed since the implementation of QTNSS in 2014, the updated version will ensure that the tourism industry is on track to fulfill its role in the realisation of Qatar National Vision 2030.

Despite uncertainty, Qatar has continued to develop its resilience, as a result of the staunch efforts of QTA and tourism providers. Concluding that the citizens of Qatar are coming together, ever more determined, Andrado said, “Ultimately, it is not the investments that makes Qatar great, it is the people with their vision, ambition and drive which is taking Qatar to new heights.”