Qatar targets Indian tourists

A view of the Doha skyline. REUTERS File Photo

In a bid to attract tourists from India, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) opened a representative office in Mumbai.

The eleventh in a network of offices around the globe, the office is set to tap into one of the fastest-growing outbound tourism markets in the world, second only to China.

Rashed AlQurese, chief marketing and promotion officer at QTA, said, “The rapid growth of India’s outbound tourism market in recent years, coupled with QTA’s intensified efforts to diversify and grow visitor source markets makes it the right time to establish our on-the-ground presence in India.”

The QTA’s representative office in India will oversee a wide range of promotional initiatives, including workshops, sales visits, travel agent destination training through QTA’s online Tawash programme, partnerships with tour operators, familiarisation trips, media campaigns and a variety of innovative activities to raise Qatar’s profile as a leisure and business tourism destination among Indian tourists.

Qatar has become an increasingly accessible destination for Indian travellers, especially after Qatar waived entry visa requirements for Indian citizens last year. In the first quarter of 2018, Qatar welcomed more than 1,10,000 visitors from India.

The country’s award-winning national carrier has 100 weekly direct flights connecting capital Doha to 13 major cities across India. These are matched with 67 weekly flights on board Indigo Airlines, Jet Airways and Air India Express, bringing the total to 167 flights a week.

The QTA’s office in Mumbai closely follows the opening of a representative office in Moscow last March. It joins an international network covering the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, the US, China, Russia, the GCC markets and South-East Asia.

All Indian nationals have visa-free entry facility in Qatar, with an allowable length of stay of 30 days. Indian nationals do not require prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival to Qatar upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward ticket.

The waiver will be valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and entitles its holder to spend up to 30 days in Qatar, during either a single trip or on multiple trips. The waiver can also be extended for a further 30 days.

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