Al-Baker cites tourism’s role in Qatar’s GDP growth, economic diversification

Industry

Qatar Tourism chairman HE Akbar al-Baker, who is also Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, has underscored the role of tourism in realising the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030.

Keynoting Qatar Travel Mart 2021 Tuesday at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC), al-Baker stressed that tourism and travel are a “crucial component” of Qatar’s future and its economy.

“Qatar National Vision 2030 sets out a roadmap for us to become an advanced society capable of maintaining a high standard of living for our people. The national vision encapsulates the four pillars of human, social, economic, and environmental development.

“Tourism has immense potential to create a real positive impact across all these pillars, creating new jobs, growing GDP, and diversifying our economy,” said al-Baker, who participated in the event’s ribbon-cutting ceremony led by HE the Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Qassim al-Abdullah al-Thani.

Al-Baker pointed out that Qatar Travel Mart is the “first exhibition of its kind” in Qatar catering specifically to the travel and tourism industry. “We are proud to invite the world back after such unprecedented times. We are thankful that our pandemic strategy and successful vaccination drive has allowed us to bring back events such as this,” he said.

He also reiterated Qatar Tourism’s earlier announcement that by 2030 it aims to attract over 6mn international visitors annually and increase travel and tourism’s GDP contribution to 12%, as well as to double employment in the sector.

“Our ambition is bold. But we know we are equipped with so many unique assets and experiences, and we have the foundations in place to achieve it. From spectacular city skylines to our burgeoning arts and culinary scene, and stunning desert landscapes, we have all the ingredients to become a world-leading tourism destination,” al-Baker stressed.

He also underlined the “tremendous progress” achieved over recent years “even through challenging times,” saying Qatar Airways is now the “largest long haul international airline in the world,” and cited Hamad International Airport as “the world’s best airport.”

“While borders were closed, we worked round the clock to prepare all our attractions so they can be experienced in comfort and safety…our ‘Qatar Clean’ programme – a key initiative by Qatar Tourism and the Ministry of Public Health – has been ensuring world-leading health and hygiene standards by certifying hotels and key tourism locations,” he emphasised.

According to al-Baker, Qatar is under the international spotlight as the country approaches the one-year countdown to the much-awaited 2022 FIFA World Cup this Sunday.

“We want to show the world the hidden gem that is Qatar. We want to welcome everyone to come and ‘Experience a World Beyond’…none of this progress would be possible without the cooperation of public and private stakeholders across the country.

“I must therefore thank them for their continued support, and His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani and HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani, who share our aim to develop Qatar as a leading destination for tourism,” al-Baker added.

 

Source: Civil Aviation Authority – Qatar