Qatar launching its tourism appeal at London World Travel Market expo
Early last month at London World Travel Market (WTA) expo, Qatar launched its brand Qatar as a destination for tourism along with the opening of its pavilion (Stand number: ME100).
It was arranged by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and promoted through its online training programme “Tawash” using a programme designed to build awareness in the international travel trade about Qatar by highlighting the country’s cultural heritage, history and rolling deserts expanses.
QTA Chairman Issa M. Al Mohannadi said, “Launching Brand Qatar as a premier tourist destination starts a new phase in our journey towards achieving goals in consonance with Qatar’s National Vision 2030 for its tourism sector.”
QTA’s leitmotiv is that whilst Qatar is definitely turning into a global hub for business, the launch of Brand Qatar will further promote high-end conferences, meetings, cultural events and why not tourism.
In the meantime, Qatari Riyal sunk, as reported by Reuters Middle East on Wednesday 25 November 2015, rather sharply in the forward foreign exchange market. Traders were concerned over Qatar’s having some difficulty to agreeing with banks on the terms details of a $10 billion loans.
Qatar is however not alone since the drop is part of widespread volatility within all GCC’s money markets during these these last few weeks. In fact, other Gulf countries have and / or undergone similar movements in their markets.
The Saudi Riyalfor instance, has dropped to its lowest level in the forwards market since the end of the 90s, while a liquidity shortfall in Kuwait squeezed the Dinar down in this week.
Meanwhile, oil prices stabilising at a longer than expected period of time at the current lower levels are cause for concern. This is mainly over the GCC’s economies ability to withstand such volatility, despite their hard currency and sovereign funds cushion. Or put another war, it is really over the ability of state finances to be as solvable as it was once in the not so long ago past.
Qatar’s gas exports shrank 40 % from a year earlier to $3.6 billion in September. Could earnings emanating from tourism trades ever manage to replace the shortcomings of gas export.
As far as the UK is concerned, QTA aims to attract 151,000 British visitors by 2018. For this, its tourism board will publicise Qatar’s wide range of accommodation, sporting activities, shops and sightseeing opportunities.