Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has opened a representative office in Mumbai, India at an event held on the 3rd May. The 11th in a network of 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 United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates, India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020. And, 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 commented, “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 our on-the-ground presence in India.” He added, “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.”
QTA’s representative office in India will oversee a wide range of promotional initiatives, including workshops, sales visits, travel agent destination training through QTA’s online Tawash programme, partnerships with tour operators, 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 travelers, especially after Qatar waived entry visa requirements for Indian citizens last year. In the first quarter of 2018, Qatar welcomed more than 110,000 visitors from India. The country’s award-winning national carrier has 100 weekly direct flights connecting the capital Doha to thirteen major cities across India. These are matched with another 67 weekly flights on board Indian airlines Indigo Airlines, Jet Airways and Air India Express bringing the total to 167 flights a week.
QTA’s 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 South-East Asia.
All Indian nationals can enter Qatar visa-free, with an allowable length of 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 its 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.