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Delegates at the forum

Qatar draws over 2m visitors in first 4 months of this year

DOHA, May 16, 2024

Qatar attracted over 4 million visitors in 2023, marking a 58.4% growth compared to 2022, and in the first four months of 2024, the visitor number exceeded 2 million, the Qatar Economic Forum (May 14-16), being held in capital Doha, heard.

Saad bin Ali Al Kharji, Chairman of Qatar Tourism, underscored the role of tourism in job creation and emphasised the need for continuous infrastructure development to support the rapid growth of sectors such as transportation, agriculture, and construction, at the fourth edition of the event that is being held under the theme ‘A World Remade: Navigating the Year of Uncertainty’.

During the session titled, ‘From the Gulf to the World: The Future of Tourism’, Al Kharji, Chairman of Qatar Tourism, discussed the future of tourism in the Gulf region. The panel speakers included Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Sébastien Bazin, Group Chairman & CEO of Accor.

Al Kharji emphasised the pivotal role of the FIFA World Cup 2022TM in supporting the region's tourism industry growth. He noted that the tournament contributed significantly to portraying Arabian culture and Gulf heritage to the world, thereby attracting visitors and stimulating interest in the Gulf region's unique culture.

This resulted in notable growth in tourism investments, visitor numbers, and the development of new tourist destinations, he said.

Addressing the resilience of the tourism sector, he pointed out its ability to adapt to economic and geopolitical conditions and recover rapidly from crises.

Despite challenges, global tourism has rebounded significantly from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with travel levels surpassing 88% of pre-pandemic levels worldwide and exceeding pre-pandemic levels in the Middle East, he said.

Al Kharji reiterated unified efforts and cooperation between Gulf countries, particularly highlighting the development of the unified GCC Tourist Visa and the ‘Double Discovery’ campaign launched jointly by Qatar and Saudi Arabia that enhance visitor experience.

Drawing a link between tourism and sustainability, Al Kharji elaborated on economic and environmental sustainability. He highlighted Qatar's commitment to sustainable tourism practices, including wildlife and environmental preservation initiatives such as the conservation of the Whale Shark and Oryx.

Visit Qatar is the Tourism Sponsor for the fourth edition of the Qatar Economic Forum, powered by Bloomberg. This year's forum, with over 2,300 participants, including 1,200 government leaders, companies, and decision-makers from around the world, facilitates constructive dialogue on vital global issues impacting technology, energy, trade, and politics. – TradeArabia News Service

 




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