Posted on September 08, 2018

Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) officials return this week from the Qatar Germany Business and Investment Forum, held under the patronage of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, after a successful participation that witnessed the birth of several partnerships that will boost Qatar’s reach in German-speaking and European markets.

QTA Acting Chairman showcased the importance of the German market to Qatar during the panel “Tourism, Health and Sport: The Road to 2022,” explaining that Germany is an important visitor source market for Qatar, and is showing steady growth, particularly in stopover and transit visitors. In the first eight months of 2018, Qatar saw a 42% increase in German visitors compared to the same period last year. “We are delighted to have participated in this Forum, which provided an important platform for us to strengthen ties with key German stakeholders in the fields of tourism and investment. QTA and its local and international partners have succeeded in establishing a presence for Qatar in the German-speaking markets over the past few years, and we are on track to become a preferred winter vacation destination for tourists from this region.”

AIDA & Costa: New Partnerships Promise Bright Future for Cruise Tourism

A highlight of the Forum on the tourism front was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the German AIDA Cruises and the Italian Costa Cruises which was attended by HE Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications; Captain Abdulla AlKhanji, CEO Of Mwani along with other notable industry officials.

Through the MoU, QTA and the cruise liners will establish a partnership aimed at developing cruise tourism with Qatar. It also includes the possibility of cooperation to build attractive packages and special services dedicated to Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises guests, in addition to joint communications, co-marketing actions and familiarisation trips. The initiative will focus on Doha, which already provides a state-of-the-art cruise terminal, and aims at building a strong relationship between the cruise lines and Qatar in advance of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

In addition, Costa Mediterranea will inaugurate Costa’s presence in Qatar with one call set on 6 March 2019, while the fleet flagship Costa Diadema will offer 16 calls to Doha during her 7-days 2019/2020 winter programme. The luxury AIDAprima is holding port bookings for eight calls in Doha during the 2018/19 season and will make several more calls in the 2019/2020 season. Between them, the two cruise lines will potentially bring up to 45,000 passengers in the coming season.

World Corporate Games Comes to Doha in 2019

The Forum also witnessed a joint announcement by QTA and Sports for Life, organisers of the World Corporate Games, that the 2019 edition will be held in Qatar under the slogan ‘Qatar, where the World comes to compete’. The 23rd edition is set to be held in November and will be the first ever to take place in the Middle East.

Leveraging the Forum’s platform, QTA extended an invitation to German industry and business leaders to have their teams join the world’s largest multisport festival. Commenting on the announcement, Rashed AlQurese, Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer at QTA, said, “Sports Tourism is one of six focus areas the Next Chapter of the National Tourism Sector Strategy seeks to develop. The hosting of mass participation events such as the World Corporate Games supports our goals for developing a vibrant sports and recreation tourism sub-sector in Qatar, in addition to helping us tap in to business tourism opportunities.”

The World Corporate Games take place every 1-2 years and the last edition was held in Houston, Texas in 2017. The Qatar edition is expected to attract 5,000 participants. Dr. Maureen Johnston, Founder of the World Corporate Games said, “We are delighted to be bringing the Games to Doha in 2019. Doha is a phenomenal global capital of sport having hosted many elite world championships in Handball, Para-athletics Boxing, with many others still to come.” She added, “We are proud to be joining the likes of these outstanding events, and opening up a competitive and fun global competition to the business community in the region for the first time.”

Cementing Ties with German Tourism Partners

Finally, QTA officials met with DER Touristik Deutschland to explore ways of further boosting awareness of Qatar as a tourism destination and attracting more visitors.

The two parties had recently signed a partnership through which DER Touristik will considerably expand the portfolio of its tour operator brands Dertour and Meier’s Weltreisen Qatar offers for the 2018/19 winter season: the existing day trip offer is being complemented by multi-day tours and the accommodation options on offer will increase to include a total of 14 hotels. On the sidelines of the Forum, QTA also met with existing partners TUI Cruises and Thomas Cook to further cement ties. Qatar is a six-hour flight from Germany, making it an attractive stopover destination for travelers heading farther East, while also providing numerous options for extended weekend stays.

QTA’s representative office in Munich opened in 2015, and promotes Qatar as a destination in German-speaking markets. In addition, QTA’s management regularly attends major trade shows for both leisure and business travel (IMEX Frankfurt, ITB Berlin) and holds regular meetings in Hamburg with cruise executives to ensure they are aware of the country’s cruise offering.

Categories: