On the occasion of World Tourism Day 2020, H.E. Akbar Al Baker, Secretary-General of Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) and GCEO of Qatar Airways commented:
“Today we celebrate World Tourism Day at a time that is particularly challenging for our industry. However, Qatar is no stranger to adversity, and by continuing to work together, we will emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient than ever before. That strength is evident in our tourism sector, which has witnessed tremendous growth over a relatively short period time, transforming our country into an emerging destination. This year’s WTD theme, ‘Tourism and Rural Development,’ allows us to showcase our many assets outside Doha, driving visitors to lesser known communities while sharing our heritage with the wider world.
To meet the needs of a growing segment of experiential tourists, we are developing tourism assets in rural areas such as Zekreet, Bin Ghannam Island, Al Qetaifan Island, Khor Al Adaid and Dukhan, within entertainment and adventure. A state-of-the-art transit system connects these points of interest to the city, making them more accessible to visitors and residents. As millions descend on Qatar for the FIFA World Cup 2022, our award-winning World Cup stadiums, several of which are located outside Doha, will allow us additional opportunity to develop these communities. While after the event, the stadiums will be repurposed for local use, bringing facilities to, and further developing these neighbourhoods.
Together with our partners from both the public and private sectors, we have been working tirelessly to improve our tourism ecosystem, building sector capacity, developing professionals in the industry, and creating space for sustainable growth built around the requirements of the new normal. Qatar’s tourism sector has proven to be resilient and innovative, adapting to changing needs on the ground while leveraging natural and heritage sites.”