Qatar has unveiled a new chapter of its
National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030, which charts the next five
years of the tourism sector’s growth in Qatar.
The plan was announced by His Excellency Sheikh
Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar’s Prime Minister
and Minister of Interior, at the UNWTO’s official celebration of
World Tourism Day.
The Next Chapter, as Qatar calls it, defines what
the country will be
known for as a tourist destination, and guides the development of
products, services, and experiences that will bring this vision to
His Excellency also announced that in the coming months, the
sector’s governance will be reorganised around a new National
Tourism Council that is empowered to focus and integrate the
efforts of key stakeholders and facilitators in ways that will
provide clarity, direction, and momentum for the tourism sector’s
improvement and growth.
Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development
Officer at Qatar Tourism Authority, said, “Together with our
partners in the public and private sectors, we have explored the
most effective ways to build on the strong foundations that have
been laid for the tourism sector since 2014, and to further
develop the country’s existing cultural and natural assets. As a
result, the Next Chapter positions Qatar as a hub to discover -
where cultural authenticity meets modernity, where the sand meets
the sea, and where people of the world come together to experience
unique offerings in culture, sports, business and family
Al Ibrahim added that the Next Chapter
introduces a tourism blueprint for the country, outlining how this
positioning will come to life over the next five years.
blueprint identifies six geographic zones across the country and
ties each zone to tourism themes based on the area’s geographic
characteristics and natural assets. Local and international
investors will be invited to develop tourism products and services
in each geographic zone, in line with its proposed theme.
“The opportunities presented in
the Next Chapter are boundless. Professionals, investors, and the
people of Qatar, all have the chance to be part of building what
Qatar will be known for in the minds of visitors, for decades to
come,” said Al Ibrahim.
In addition to the development of tourism
products, the Next Chapter also details a plan to expand the
country’s calendar of year-round tourism festivals and events, and
to generate global interest in the country through expanding
Qatar’s global network of tourism promotion offices.
Placing visitor experience at the heart of
tourism development Ensuring the best possible end-to-end
experience for visitors to Qatar is at the heart of the Next
Chapter. The strategy lays out plans and measures that are
designed to ensure favourable experiences at every touch point of
the visitor’s journey. These include programs to facilitate
interactions and shared experiences between Qatar’s residents and
its guests, as well as the creation of tourism experience units in
all relevant public and private sector entities that will be
tasked with ensuring that their organisations’ services are
continuously enhanced to provide remarkable experiences for
The next five years will also witness intensive
efforts to ensure infrastructure, both physical and digital, is in
place to facilitate visitors’ journeys to, from and within Qatar.
In addition, training programmes will be developed and provided to
all government and private sector employees in tourist-facing
Establishing a new governance structure to
enhance integration and enable development to achieve the Next
Chapter’s targets, Qatar’s leadership has announced a new
governance structure for the tourism sector to coordinate,
consolidate and focus the efforts of its key members and
Qatar Tourism Authority will become the National
Tourism Council, and will report to a Board of high-level
representatives, chaired by His Excellency the Prime Minister and
Minister of Interior, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al
Thani. The Board will guide the overall development of the sector,
monitor tourism sector performance, and ensure cross-sector
collaboration and focus.
The Board of the National Tourism Council will
also oversee three new entities that will be charged with
developing large-scale tourism products and experiences, promoting
the destination internationally, and consolidating the efforts of
existing stakeholders in the business events sub-sector.
“The tourism sector is unique in its reliance on
many ancillary sectors to succeed. Recognising the importance of
close coordination, the Qatari government has endorsed a new
governance structure that will empower the sector and help us work
together to achieve greater results,” said Al Ibrahim. “This
new structure also helps us to expand the functions of product
development, international promotion, as well as the development
of the business events sub-sector, all while ensuring they move
forward with significant involvement and leadership from the
He added that by putting new policies and
structures in place, the Next Chapter aims to further develop
important sector enablers, such as a supportive regulatory
framework for tourism establishments, enhancing the ease of doing
business in the sector, and additional visa facilitation measures
to increase visitor access to Qatar.
The Next Chapter aims to attract 5.6 million
visitors to Qatar annually by 2023, double the number which the
country welcomed in 2016.
It also aims to achieve a 72% occupancy
rate across all hotel establishments, through a combination of
increasing demand and diversifying the country’s tourist
Also by 2023, the strategy aims to have
increased tourism’s direct contribution to Qatar’s GDP from QAR
19.8 billion in 2016 to QAR 41.3 billion, representing a direct
contribution to the GDP of 3.8% (compared to 3.5% in 2016).
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