Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) and Qatar Airways jointly organised the Qatar Mega FAM Trip last week, hosting a record-breaking number of 60 tour operators and wholesalers from five strategic markets in China. Tour operators were also awarded with China Top Agents recognition certificates at a Gala Dinner to celebrate the growth in Chinese arrivals and agency partners in Qatar.
According to QNTC Secretary General and Qatar Airways CEO HE Akbar Al Baker, China is the largest outbound tourism market in the world. He said that in 2018, there was a significant growth in the number of Chinese visitors to Qatar – 38% – compared to 2017. This, he said, has been a result of numerous breakthrough initiatives like visa-free entry for Chinese citizens since August 2018, the addition of Qatar Airways flights to six destinations in mainland China, along with the marketing and outreach programmes rolled out through the QNTC offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chengdu.
We are pleased to host such fam trips for tour operators to Qatar to help them learn about the country’s unique tourism experiences and products. Qatar has witnessed great diversification in the tourism source markets, which required developing new innovative tourism products and experiences that meet the tastes and aspirations of visitors from those markets.’
The Qatar Mega FAM Trip is organised for leading travel agents and industry media representatives from China, to familiarise them with the unique travel experiences available in Qatar. The different routes taken simultaneously, provided agents with a fresh perspective of Qatar, and allow them the opportunity to share their experiences with other agents, and to better sell the destinations upon their return to China.
During their time in Qatar, agents also had the chance to attend the 16th edition of the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE). The exhibition offers exclusive pieces from the world’s finest jewellery and watch brands and provide visitors with a hands-on experience in the jewellery industry, exclusive designs and more than 500 brands from over 10 countries.
China is currently the largest outbound tourism market in the world, with almost 150 million outbound Chinese travellers in 2018 alone. In September 2017, Qatar was granted Approved Destination Status (ADS) by the government of China. Thanks to Qatar’s visitor visa facilitation policies, Chinese citizens can now enter Qatar visa free, with a visa waiver that is 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. In addition, the five-star national carrier, Qatar Airways has 31 weekly direct flights connecting Doha to Beijing, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Shanghai, and Hangzhou in mainland China.