In a bid to boost awareness of the destination’s offerings in the South Asian market, Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) made its debut in South Asia’s Leading Travel Trade Show- SATTE 2019. At the three-day event held between 16 and 19 January at India Expo Mart, QNTC led a delegation of industry representatives who highlighted Qatar’s growing portfolio of bespoke and affordable experiences provided to South Asian travellers planning to visit the country for leisure, weddings, MICE and business.
Qatar has steadily gained popularity among Indian travellers looking for a conveniently accessible destination offering authentic Arabian experiences in the Gulf. Thanks to Qatar’s efforts to ease visitor access since 2017, Indian citizens can now enter Qatar visa free. The visa waiver 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, there are 176 flights every week connecting Indian cities to Doha offered by Qatar’s award-winning national airline, Qatar Airways as well as Indigo, Jet Airways and Air India Express. In 2018, Qatar welcomed more than 400,000 Indian visitors, representing a 20 per cent increase compared to the previous year.
Rashed AlQurese, Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer, QNTC commented, “India currently ranks 1st in terms of tourist visits to Qatar. Participating at SATTE helps strengthen ties with a key visitor source market and enhance our destination offerings to suit the ever evolving needs of the Indian travelers.” He added, “SATTE is a platform to connect with most influential b2b and b2c partners in India and beyond and we are particularly pleased to be joined by eight hotels and two DMCs to showcase the country’s expanding tourism and hospitality options.”
As 2019 is the Qatar-India year of culture, the country plans to offer more events curated for the interest of Indian visitors.
His Excellency Mohammed bin Khater Al Khater, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to India visited the Qatar pavilion at the exhibition. He commented, “Qatar made its maiden appearance at SATTE this year and I feel honoured to be part of the event, which is considered one of the biggest and most professional tourism exhibition in the Indian market. It can be considered as a good start to the year 2019, which will be celebrated as the Qatar-India Year of Culture. Visitors from both the nations will witness various cultural events happening throughout the year that would further help in strengthening the ties between India and Qatar.”
The annual three-day b2b trade show brought together key travel industry leaders in the region to forge new partnerships and strengthen business. The event hosted over 1,000 exhibitors and represented over 50 countries and 28 Indian states.