The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) recently launched a new tourism project named – Samana (Our Skies) which focuses on helicopter tours and sightseeing in and around Qatar.
The launch ceremony was attended by HE Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, minister of transport; Moussa Ahmad Hassan, Djibouti’s minister of transport and equipment; HE Abdulaziz bin Mohammad Al Noaimi, chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority; HE Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority and Mohammed Ibrahim Al Mohannadi, chief executive officer of Gulf Helicopters.
The tourism project will focus on helicopter tours. QTA has created this new touristic attraction and developed the idea with support from Ministry of Transport and the Qatar Armed Forces, and it will be operated by Gulf Helicopters. The tourism authority has also partnered with Regency Travels to promote and sell this experience.
“Tourism is one of the most important sectors connected with transport and communications industries. There is a positive relationship between two sectors. The more efficient and developed the transport sector, more efficient and developed the tourism sector becomes. Consequently this boosts Qatar’s economic development and is in line with the projected national vision 2030,” said HE Jassim Al Sulaiti, minister of transport.
The ‘Samana’ project’ will continue to attract leisure travellers and will boost Qatar’s national tourism strategy towards 2030. This will also increase ratio of visitors who are seeking leisure tourism in Qatar from currently 27% to 60% of all visitors by 2030.
As per tourism statistics, total visitor arrivals to Qatar grew by eight percent in the first half of 2014 reaching 1.42 million. More than half a million GCC nationals (536,264) visited Qatar, representing 38% of tourists. In H1 of 2014, average hotel occupancy rose from 67% to 74% compared to the same period of last year. Total revenue at four and five star hotels increased by four percent, reaching QAR 1.98 billion, while total revenue at three-star hotels reached QAR 82.51 million.