Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) opened a representative office in Mumbai, India, one of their eleven 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.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) estimates, India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020. The market for travel and tourism in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 7.23% during the period 2016-2021.

Rashed Al Qurese, Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer at QTA said that 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 Qatar’s on-the-ground presence in India.

The steps taken to make accessing Qatar easier are particularly targeted at visitors who are seeking to experience our country’s luxury hospitality and unique cultural offerings, all while benefiting from the convenience of relatively short flights.’

The QTA representative office in India will oversee a wide range of promotional initiatives, including workshops, sales visits, travel agent destination training through the online Tawash programme. These initiatives will be in partnership with tour operators and will also include 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 113,000 visitors from India. The country’s award-winning national carrier has 100 weekly direct flights connecting Doha to nine major cities across India. These are complemented with another 74 weekly flights on board Indian airlines, bringing the total to 174 flights a week.

The QTA office in Mumbai closely follows the opening of a representative office in Moscow, Russia last March. It joins an international network currently covering the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, the United States of America, China, Russia, the GCC markets and Southeast Asia.

All Indian nationals can enter Qatar visa-free, with an allowable stay of 30 days. Indian nationals do not require any 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 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.

Indian travellers interested in Qatar can also access information through the QTA website: visitqatar.qa.