On the eve of the AFC Asia Cup finals in Doha, Visit Qatar shares that it welcomed 702,800 visitors in January 2024 – its highest on record, with plans for further growth. Karryon reports from Doha.
Following on from the growth of Discover Qatar and Qatar Airways’ successful stopover program, Doha has become the fastest growing destination in the Middle East. Qatar welcomed more than four million visitors in 2023 – and is now setting a goal to welcome six million visitors a year as part of its Third National Development Strategy for 2024-2030.
His Excellency Mr. Saad Bin Ali Al Kharji, Chairman of Qatar Tourism, and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer both spoke to tourism trade, including Karryon, at a press conference and media briefing at Msheireb in Downtown Doha.
“A special acknowledgement to our national carrier and multi-time Skytrax winner, Qatar Airways, for their continuous efforts and support to Visit Qatar,” said His Excellency.
“Visit Qatar has played a vital role in establishing Qatar as an award leading destination. In 2023, we achieved a ground-breaking record by welcoming four million visitors – an historic milestone in our tourism history. January 2024 witnessed another remarkable achievement with over 700,000 international visitors – setting a new monthly record. These statistics underscore the significant accomplishment and momentum of Qatar’s tourism sector.”
“It defines Qatar’s status as a premiere international destination. I am pleased to announce that we are continuing this growth with the aim of welcoming six million visitors by 2030 – and I hope for that. To achieve this growth, we are expanding and enhancing our appeal for visitors with guests at the forefront of our initiatives, influencing every aspect of our offering from tourism experiences to the individual ecosystem. An example of this is the stopover in Qatar providing travellers with the opportunity to expand their destination experiences and explore this remarkable country.
“We believe that the stopover package in Qatar will be highly valuable for tourists with limited time. With our award winning national carrier Qatar Airways flying to over 170 destinations, Qatar is experiencing an increase in transiting passengers who now enjoy a stopover,” said His Excellency.
In 2023, the number of travellers and hotel room nights more than doubled compared to 2022.
New products and attractions include the new Meryal Waterpark (soft-open now with a full opening scheduled for April); and Ras Abrouq Our Habitas resort, the first Our Habitas property in Qatar, opened in partnership with Qatar Airways, on the edge of the UNESCO protected Al-Reem Biosphere Reserve where, his Excellency says, visitors can experience the “beauty of the Qatar desert.”
“For the year 2024, Qatar has launched a full calendar of over 80 unique events ranging from exclusive works of art to the world’s largest technology conference brought to the region for the first time,” he said.
The Stopover Program offers five options for travellers: Standard (4-star hotels); Premium (5-star hotels); Premium with Beach Access (choice of 5-star hotels with access to Doha Sands Beach, West Bay); Luxury (choice of 5-star hotels including breakfast); and All-Inclusive Beach (choice of 5-star hotels with all-inclusive beach access to Doha Sands Beach,West Bay).
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer added that the airlines’ expansion of new routes and resumptions of services will contribute to visitation.
“Our 2024 network expansion offers a very exciting summer schedule, which includes our resumption to Venice and our new route to Hamburg, along with increased frequencies on various international routes. We are committed to creating unforgettable travel experiences which will transform transit time as well as the airport experience itself. Looking ahead to the future, I am confident that Qatar is set to become the top stopover destination globally.”
In conclusion, His Excellency Mr. Saad Bin Ali Al Kharji, Chairman of Qatar Tourism said:
“The most important thing I would like to highlight is the unique and authentic Qatari hospitality which all the people of Qatar try to welcome and show to everyone, and it was surely at its best when we hosted World Cup in 2022. Let us welcome everyone and give you the feelings of Qatari hospitality,” he said.
For more information, visit qatarairways.com
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