Experts to Al-Arab: Strengthening the role of the private sector is a necessity for developing tourism

Written By Mark

Hamad Al-Ahbabi: Allowing free investment in its various fields

Ali bin Daraa: Benefiting from the expertise working in the sector

Yousef Al-Jassim: Support of local companies is required

Businessmen and citizens called for allowing the private sector to freely invest in the tourism sector, as an “effective partner” in sustainable development. They noted the necessity of granting facilities and benefits to businessmen to enhance their investments in the tourism field, along with the necessity of developing a comprehensive plan for each region separately in all regions of the country.

They emphasized to Al-Arab the importance of the development that the tourism sector in the country has witnessed in recent years, whether at the level of the number of visitors or at the level of developing the tourism infrastructure, noting some of the demands and proposals that the tourism sector needs to achieve further growth and advance local tourism, including strengthening the role of The private sector is investing in Qatar’s abundant recreational and family tourism components, as well as the tourism of events, tournaments and exhibitions, and giving it greater attention to diversify tourism options for young people and families and increase tourist attraction among citizens and residents with different tastes.

Offer incentives
Mr. Hamad bin Maiqa Al Ahbabi, a businessman, stressed the importance of the role that tourism plays in the economies of countries because of its significant impact on economic development. The economic impact of tourism also appears in increasing revenues from foreign exchange by providing the largest amount of foreign currency spent by tourists. During the period of their stay, on various tourist and non-tourist services and goods, because tourism spending contributes to the development of a number of sectors, feeding the tourism sector, with the goods and services it needs.
Al-Ahbabi noted that the tourism sector in Qatar contributes 4.7% of the non-oil economy, which is a percentage that is still below ambition, which confirms the necessity of motivating business owners to pump investments into the tourism sector, and to increase the promotion of Qatar tourism abroad. Motivating Qatar Airways to submit offers. Discount for tourists who visit Qatar for the purpose of tourism and recreation.
He noted the importance of providing incentives for investments outside Doha to encourage businessmen to establish projects in foreign regions, by supporting the state by providing tax incentives, facilitating loans and grants, and distributing official events to municipalities. He explained that this requires a plan to distribute development gains between the various regions of the country after linking them to a modern transportation network according to economic studies based on (cost-benefit analyses) that include economic and social aspects, indicating that the basis for achieving sustainable development is the planning equation to distribute development gains in balance.
Al-Ahbabi also called for allowing the private sector to freely invest in the tourism sector as an effective partner in development, and granting benefits to this sector to increase its investments in the tourism field, after developing a comprehensive plan for each region separately in all regions of the country.

For his part, Ali bin Daraa called for facilitating procedures and laws to stimulate the private sector to invest in tourism, inside and outside Doha, while developing a national strategy to encourage tourism investments outside the city of Doha, by granting investment incentives and identifying sites to accommodate development and attract new service and tourism projects. In various external regions, including the main municipalities, he noted that this does not conflict with the concentration of tourism and commercial activity in the capital, and stressed that the development of tourist attractions in some external cities does not have great chances of success without the involvement and support of the private sector, which adheres to Doha as a single destination for investment. Tourist.
He noted the need to open new areas for investment outside Doha by providing land in external areas at reasonable prices to encourage the private sector to invest on the one hand, and to calm land prices and their future trends on the other hand, in light of the significant rise in land prices outside Doha, which contradicts the policy that aims To increase investments outside Doha, especially when the investor finds that the differences in prices are marginal between inside and outside Doha, in addition to developing and rehabilitating heritage villages to be attractive points for tourism and a legacy for future generations, noting the role of the Qatar Museums Authority in restoring, restoring and developing many areas and enhancing its role in the local community. And the tourist.
He expressed his hope to rehabilitate more villages and archaeological and heritage areas, as they represent an important historical era, stage, and path due to the development and growth that our country has witnessed. He stressed that their rehabilitation represents an extension and connection of the past with the present, and a historical narrative that narrates the nation’s journey from simplicity to modernity, indicating that the restoration It gives it a special aesthetic touch, while preserving its distinctive original character and the depth of local heritage, which reflects the identity of the place, its culture and its past.

Corporate support
Mr. Yousef Al-Jassim explained that developing the tourism sector in the country requires enabling the private sector to play its role in stimulating tourism, and supporting emerging tourism companies, through the incentives provided by the state to enhance tourism marketing procedures and programs at the local and foreign levels, and sponsoring the activities of these companies and promoting their activities by Qatar Tourism Authority, as the government entity responsible for planning, organizing and promoting a sustainable tourism sector in Qatar.
Al-Jassem pointed out the weakness of the marketing process for domestic tourism programs, which requires the Ministry to support local tourism companies to revitalize and activate their role in promoting domestic tourism and ensuring that these companies operate according to the highest standards while promoting Qatar’s culture, heritage and identity.
Al-Jassim stressed that the launch of the “Qatar National Strategy for the Tourism Sector” contributed to the development of the tourism sector, including licensing processes, and made them smoother for investors and owners of tourist facilities, but the matter also requires reducing the annual license renewal fees for these local companies that struggle to activate local tourism programs and stimulate domestic tourism.

Licensing process

The General Tourism Authority undertakes the process of licensing travel and tourism companies, tourism establishments and activities, and hotels, in addition to exhibitions and their organizers. Among the measures taken is reducing the time for obtaining a tourism license, provided that license applicants possess the necessary papers from other government agencies such as the Civil Defense Department and the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning. It is expected that the new system will contribute to raising the level of streamlines in the process of obtaining tourism licenses.

Qatar is the best destination… record growth in the tourism sector

The selection of Doha as the capital of Arab tourism for the year 2023 by the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism contributed to consolidating its position as an attractive tourist destination, and Qatar topped the best performing destination in the world in terms of growth in the number of tourists arriving there during the first seven months of the year 2023, according to the latest measure issued by The United Nations World Tourism Organization, which tracked the recovery of the tourism sector after the Corona epidemic over the period from January to July 2023.
According to the recently issued index, Qatar came in first place as the best performing destination in the world in terms of the number of tourists arriving during the monitoring period.
The percentage of international tourist arrivals to Qatar during the first seven months of 2023 increased by 95%, compared to the same period in 2019.
The tourism sector’s achievements were that Qatar received more than 4 million visitors during the year 2023, which is the highest percentage in the last five years. The country also received 702,800 visitors during the month of January 2024, thus achieving a record number of international visitors received by Qatar in one month. .
While Qatar Tourism continues to implement many initiatives, including developing the sports tourism sector, strengthening the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) sector, developing special programs depending on specific markets and aircraft charter programs to attract visitors from some selected countries, and enhancing commercial activity in priority markets and with… Main agencies, by increasing their representative offices, participating in international trade fairs, and improving the hospitality and entertainment experience for visitors and residents, by establishing a hotline dedicated to serving local and international tourists, and improving the electronic service to facilitate browsing the calendar of events.