In the first part of 2017, Qatar witnessed a 7% growth in visitor arrivals.
Following the Saudi-led blockade imposed on Qatar, and the related border closures and travel ban, there were large declines in visitor arrivals of those who are nationals and residents of the GCC blockading countries. However, efforts to diversify source markets by granting visa-free entry to citizens of more than 80 countries, continue to show promising results, with increases in visitor arrivals from key primary markets. Furthermore, the cruise industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, with Qatar welcoming 22 ships at Doha Port throughout the season ending in April 2017.
Rashed Al Qurese, Chief Marketing & Promotion Officer at Visit Qatar says the visa-free entry programme has done a lot to bring tourism back on line: “Facilitating visitor entry is a key element in realising our vision for visitors to enjoy seamless journeys to, from and within Qatar. Last year, we saw the introduction of a new free 96-hour transit visa to passengers of all nationalities which was complemented by the +Qatar campaign, which ran until December 2017. The waiver of entryvisa requirements for citizens of over 80 countries makes Qatar the most open country in the region”.
Photo: Rashed Al Qurese – Chief Marketing & Promotion Officer, Visit Qatar