World Tourism Day Forum speakers include top officials from Qatar’s government and private sector

Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) confirmed that preparations are underway for the official World Tourism Day (WTD) celebrations on 27 September in Doha, which will be held under the patronage of Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

The celebrations will feature the World Tourism Day Forum, which is set to gather officials and representatives from tourism authorities and ministries around the world to explore its role in sustainable development. The Prime Minister is set to officiate the Forum’s opening ceremony, while a number of senior Qatari officials are confirmed to speak at the full-day event which will be held at the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort and Convention Hotel.

Qatari panellists include Qatar’s Minister of Municipality and Environment Mohamed Al-Rumaihi; Minister of Culture and Sports Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali; Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker; Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Hassan Al-Thawadi; and Msheireb Real Estate CEO Abdulla Al-Mehshadi.

WTD is the official day set in the United Nations’ calendar to highlight tourism’s contribution to some of the most pressing challenges that society is faced with today. Qatar won the rights to host the official celebrations at the 21st UNWTO General Assembly held in Colombia in 2015. The celebrations will be held under the theme ‘Sustainable Tourism – A Tool for Development’.

UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Al Rifai said that they look forward to the event this year which gains particular relevance with the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. He said that Qatar’s commitment to developing its tourism sector is clear, as proven by its recent decision to grant visa-free entry to visitors from 80 countries.

The occasion bears double significance for Qatar, as it comes at a time when the country’s tourism sector is experiencing ‘monumental’ changes. The WTD Forum will witness the launch of the Next Chapter of Qatar’s National Tourism Sector Strategy, which outlines a five-year plan aimed at diversifying visitor source markets, as well as tourism products and services.

Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer at QTA  said they are very pleased to have such strong Qatari representation among the international line up of speakers at WTD this year.

The officials from Qatar speaking at the WTD Forum are all involved in the country’s pursuit of environmental, societal and economic sustainability; the variety of fields they represent demonstrates how the creation of an authentic tourism experience cuts across so many sectors, both public and private. WTD presents a unique opportunity to gather industry partners from around the world to celebrate the tourism sector’s contribution to long term development, and seek out ways to capitalise on the potential of ongoing tourism projects to achieve sustainability for our nations.’

In addition to hosting the industry forum, WTD will also feature a public celebration for residents and citizens of Qatar. The visiting dignitaries and international tourism industry officials and professionals will also have the opportunity to visit various landmarks that showcase the country’s culture, heritage, nature and sports tourism assets.

Check this link for more information about the World Tourism Day celebrations in Qatar.