The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has opened a representative office in Mumbai, India – the 11th in the network and perhaps one of the most important as the QTA looks to tap into one of the fastest-growing outbound tourism markets in the world, second only to China.
According to United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates, India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020. The market for travel and tourism in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 7.23% during the period 2016-2021.
“Targeted at visitors who are seeking to experience our country’s luxury hospitality and unique cultural offerings”
Speaking at the launch, Rashed Al Qurese, chief marketing and promotion officer at QTA said, “The rapid growth of India’s outbound tourism market in recent years, coupled with QTA’s intensified efforts to grow visitor source markets makes it the right time to establish our on-the-ground presence in India.”
He added: “The steps taken to make accessing Qatar easier are particularly targeted at visitors who are seeking to experience our country’s luxury hospitality and unique cultural offerings, all while benefiting from the convenience of relatively short flights.”
QTA’s representative office in India will oversee a wide range of promotional initiatives, including workshops, sales visits, travel agent destination training through QTA’s online Tawash programme, partnerships with tour operators, familiarisation trips, media campaigns and a variety of innovative activities to raise Qatar’s profile as a leisure and business tourism destination among Indian tourists.
Qatar has become an increasingly accessible destination for Indian travellers, especially after Qatar waived entry visa requirements for Indian citizens last year.
In the first quarter of 2018, Qatar welcomed more than 110,000 visitors from India. The country’s national carrier has 100 weekly direct flights connecting the capital Doha to 13 major cities across India. These are matched with another 67 weekly flights on board Indian airlines Indigo Airlines, Jet Airways and Air India Express bringing the total to 167 flights a week.
QTA’s office in Mumbai closely follows the opening of a representative office in Moscow, Russia last March. It joins an international network currently covering the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, the United States of America, China, Russia, the GCC markets and South-East Asia.
All Indian nationals can enter Qatar visa-free with an allowable length of stay of 30 days.
A few of the attractions and hotels that make Qatar a must-visit place are:
- Designed by world famous French architect Jean Nouvel, the much anticipated National Museum of Qatar is scheduled to open to the public in December 2018;
- The world’s first Angry Birds World theme park ‘Trimoo’ is set to open in Doha which will feature over 20 rides and Angry Birds-themed activities;
- Education City Golf Club introduces new course to Doha’s golf offering in October.
Some of the new hotels opening in 2018 are:
- Mandarin Oriental in the heart of Msheireb, Downtown Doha with 249 guestrooms, suites and serviced apartments;
- Centara West Bay Residences & Suites, scheduled to open in July 2018;
- Tivoli Hotels & Resorts will introduce two brand new properties in Doha in 2018: Al Najada Doha Hotel by Tivoli is set to open in September 2018 and Souq Al Wakra Hotel Qatar by Tivoli opens in September 2018;
- Oaks Al Najada Doha debuts in September 2018 with 100 serviced apartments designed to reinvent the conventional residential concepts of compound and high-rise accommodations.