Posted 12th of April 2018

Qatar tourism sector prepares for more Chinese guests and tour groups

Press Release

OVER 20 members of the tourism and hospitality sector are officially ready to welcome Chinese guests and tour groups, after being recognised by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The industry members were feted at a ceremony organised by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and attended by HE Li Chen, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Qatar.

The honorees include six Destination Management Companies (DMCs) who have met the requirements to become designated by QTA as approved tour operators for hosting Chinese tour groups. These companies are now confirmed with the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism and are ready to meet the needs of Chinese travel agencies looking to organise group holidays in Qatar, as well as independent Chinese travellers, starting in May.

In addition, 15 hotels have received the Welcome Chinese Certification, which is recognised by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the China Tourism Academy (CTA), through its exclusive global distribution partner, Select Holding.

The certification acknowledges that the hotels have the amenities to better host and welcome Chinese guests, such as acceptance of China Union Pay cards, access to CCTV channels and newspapers, hot water kettles and Chinese tea in guest rooms, and free Wi Fi connections. Gold-level certified hotels provide additional services including Chinese-speaking staff, special welcome packages, discounts for Chinese guests and a Chinese breakfast option.

Rashed AlQurese, Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer at QTA, commented: “We have been working closely with our partners in the tourism industry to offer our renowned hospitality to Chinese guests, and allow Chinese visitors to discover our cultural heritage and natural treasures with ease and comfort.” He added: “As we continue to promote Qatar as a tourism destination in China, we look forward to seeing more sector partners receive their certification and ensuring they are well-positioned for the Chinese market.”

Qatar was granted Approved Destination Status (ADS) by what is now the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (previously the China National Tourism Administration) in September 2017, allowing it to receive tourist groups from China and to promote Qatar as a tourism destination within China.

“Securing Approved Destination Status for Qatar as a destination brings new opportunities for both China and Qatar to expand tourism exchanges, strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchange, and deepen practical cooperation,” commented Yang Song, Head of the Economic and Commercial Counselor’s office at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China. “Now, more and more Chinese visitors choose to stop over in Doha to experience the unique Islamic architecture, Qatari and Arabian culture as well as hospitality and friendliness of local people. This November, China’s first-ever International Import Expo will take place in Shanghai, which represents China’s sincere wish to further open up its huge domestic market to the world. We welcome the China-ready hotels and DMCs in Qatar to participate in the Expo, and tap into the world’s largest outbound tourism market.”

After Qatar gained ADS last year, QTA opened representative offices in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. The first quarter of 2018 saw a 27 percent increase in Chinese visitor arrivals compared to the same period last year. Data analysis also shows that China is Qatar’s fastest growing source market.

The Qatar tourism sector’s China-readiness allows it to tap into the world’s largest tourism export market. In 2016, 135 million Chinese citizens are recorded to have travelled abroad spending $261 billion.