As Qatar Tourism Authority steps up its efforts to position Qatar as a premium destination for business events, two QTA delegations are participating in global congresses to seek training, establish connections, and increase Qatar’s worldwide ranking on business events indexes.
Delegates participated in the 54th International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Congress in Buenos Aires as well as the 82nd UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) Congress in Milan. Through the events, QTA worked to develop partnerships with the ICCA and UFI members, received training on bidding for international events and sought to attract more events to Qatar through their membership in ICCA and UFI.
QTA’s membership in the two organisations is in line with Qatar’s objective of increasing the number of tourists by 20% over the next five years. It is expected that most of these tourists will be coming to Qatar to attend business events, as the current ration of business-to-leisure is 70:30.
Hamad Al Abdan, Director of Exhibitions at QTA, said:
Our strategy places great emphasis on increasing the involvement of local stakeholders in the national efforts to promote the country as a destination for conferences and conventions. By gaining the tools to secure and host quality global events, we are better-equipped to empower our partners in the private sector to capitalise on this knowledge and deliver world-class conferences and exhibitions in Qatar.’
ICCA is the global expert in international association meetings. It represents the main specialists in organising, transporting, and accommodating international meetings and events, and comprises almost 1,000 member companies and organisations in over 90 countries worldwide.
UFI is the association of the world’s leading tradeshow organisers and fairground owners, as well as the major national and international exhibition associations. The UFI Congress provides members with valuable studies and research regarding all aspects of the exhibition industry, and offers a variety of professional seminars and workshops.
Qatar has witnessed a substantial increase in activity in the business meetings and exhibitions sector, averaging 150 events a year. In 2015, Qatar saw a 35% growth in the number of exhibitions, and in 2016, QTA expect a further growth of 5%, with 58 shows on the calendar.