Russia is becoming one of the fastest growing source markets for Qatar
Every year Qatar has more and more fans among Russian tourists. The flow of tourists from Russia grew in 2017 thanks to the cancellation of visa regime for representatives of 80 nationalities, including citizens of the Russian Federation and some CIS countries, such as Georgia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. By the end of 2017 the country hosted more than 9 thousand tourists from Russia. And in 2018, the country was already visited by 123% more tourists (more than 22 thousand) than a year earlier, demonstrating a positive trend.
In 2019, the Qatar National Tourism Board joined ATOR as an associate partner. Rashid Al-Kuresi, the director of marketing and promotion for QNTC, said: “Since 2017, Russia has become one of the fastest growing markets for us. 2018 was declared the Cross Year of Culture of Qatar and Russia, which further strengthened relations between the two countries. We look forward to further cooperation with leading Russian tour operators to increase the flow of Russian tourists to Qatar.”
ATOR includes the largest tour operators from different regions of Russia, whose members provide more than 80% of the organized flow of outbound tourism from Russia, more than 70% of the flow of inbound tourism and about 60% of the flow of domestic tourism.
According to Maya Lomidze, the executive director of ATOR, Qatar, as a tourist destination, has great potential in Russia.
“Qatar’s tourism product has everything needed to compete with already promoted destinations in the Middle East. But at the same time, there is not so much information about the country's capabilities aimed at the end user and b2b sector. And we will jointly compensate this shortcoming,” she notes.
The activities of the National Tourism Council are supervised according to the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy (QNTSS), which aims to diversify the country's tourism product and increase the contribution of the tourism sector to the Qatar economy by 2030. In 2017, the next chapter of QNTSS was announced, outlining plans for the growth of the tourism sector for the next five years (2017–2023).
Since the launch of QNTSS, Qatar has hosted more than 10 million visitors. The economic impact of the tourism sector in Qatar is becoming increasingly significant. According to 2016 estimates, the direct and indirect contribution of the tourism industry was 6.7% of the country's GDP.