NeXTfairs for Exhibitions and Conferences announced that all preparations for Qatar Travel Mart Conference – QTM 2021 – are completed. QTM 2021 will be held from 16 to 18 November 2021 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, simultaneously with its virtual version through the DigiCon platform.

The event will feature 90 exhibitors representing local and international companies and covers seven sectors including luxury, business, sports, medical, leisure, culture and halal tourism.

NeXTFairs General Manager Rawad Sleem said the event represents a platform that leads the recovery journey of tourism and travel sectors from the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as the World Cup 2022 countdown draws closer, giving a strong boost for the tourism and hotel sector.

NeXTFairs General Manager Rawad Sleem
NeXTFairs General Manager Rawad Sleem

According to Sleem, the tourism industry in Qatar is a lucrative sector for developers and companies and provides opportunities for growth. He also stressed the importance of business events industry in supporting the economy to recover, as NeXTFairs organises a series of virtual and traditional conferences and exhibitions to enhance the growth of the national economy.

All precautionary measures will be applied to ensure the health and safety of participants, exhibitors and visitors during the exhibition. These measures include regular and consistent disinfection of halls and public and private areas, as well as thorough disinfection of specific spaces used for meeting and communicating with visitors, such as reception halls. The disinfection process will be carried out by highly trained technicians following international safety standards.

The event already received an overwhelming response from local and international companies in the travel and tourism sectors. The list of the local participants now include:

  • Retaj Hotels & Hospitality
  • Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl – Doha
  • The St. Regis Doha
  • National Cruise Company
  • Gulf Adventures LLC
  • First Travel & Tourism

International pavilions now include the African Tourism Board (ATB) and the Agenzia Nazionale Turismo (ENIT). The exhibition also attracts high profile exhibitors in destinations, airlines, hotels and resorts, tour operators, DMC, cruise lines, transportation and travel technology companies.

Tourism as a priority sector

Sleem stressed that tourism is a priority sector and fundamental to economic diversification, a key objective in Qatar National Vision 2030. The sector has witnessed great development in terms of regulations and legislation that has promoted Qatar’s openness in tourism, giving the local market the opportunity to attract the most prominent hotel brands in the world. Qatar also tops the list of investment destinations in terms of returns on tourism and hotel investments in the Middle East.

Qatar is one of the most active market in terms of the number of hotel projects under development despite the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of ongoing projects is currently at 107 projects, including 21,500 hotel rooms under development in the local market.

The 107 projects also include 70 hotels with 14,499 rooms, distributed over 33 five-star hotels, 26 four-star hotels, and 11 three-star hotels. The total number of hotel apartments under development is 21, with 4,363 rooms including 15 regular hotel apartments, six luxury hotel apartments and 16 apartments that are not classified.

Developing tourism investment in Qatar

Qatar aims to attract about 5.6 million tourists annually by 2023, as investment in the tourism sector is targeted to go up to USD4 billion by 2028, with the share of the tourism sector in GDP reaching USD36.57 billion. Not to mention that Qatar provides an encouraging investment environment in the tourism and hotel sector as well as a package of incentives that include: advanced infrastructure, a high rate of tourism spending as a result of growth in per capita share of GDP; as well as allocating lands for tourism activities under long-term contracts.

In addition, the country will also implement income tax exemption for some sectors for a period of up to 10 years, grant import license for the necessary materials for investment projects, exemption from customs taxes imposed on machinery required for investment projects, and the possibility of transferring investment revenues without any obstacles and in any currency.

Sleem pointed out that Qatar offers world-class facilities to hold business events. It is also home to Qatar Airways, which tops the list of the best airlines in the world; and Hamad International Airport, which is currently implementing an expansion plan to increase capacity to over 53 million passengers by 2022, to support Qatar’s leading position in the tourism sector in the region and worldwide.

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