Qatar is eyeing visitors from South Asia, particularly from Malaysia and Singapore, on transit in its capital Doha to stay longer than just a few hours to enjoy what the country has to offer before moving on to their final destinations.
To achieve this goal Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) has teamed up with travel search engine Wego to attract 225 million travelers from 15 countries to choose Doha as a stopover destination for two or three days before continuing their onward journey.
The two organisations are focusing on travelers from Singapore and Malaysia, as 37 million of the target visitors are from these two countries.
“Many Singaporeans and Malaysians are flying with Qatar Airways and stopping in Doha when heading further west. Our partnership with Wego aims to encourage the transit passengers to venture out of the airport and add Doha as a stopover destination on their itinerary,” explained Rashed AlQurese, chief marketing and promotion officer at QNTC.
“Partnering with Wego as one of the top travel aggregators in Singapore and Malaysia, QNTC aims to drive even more tourism arrivals into Qatar from this region.”
Added Craig Hewett, Wego’s co-founder: “Doha shows significant potential in terms of likely interest from South Asia’s travelers. We believe it could be the best travel spot in the Middle East and outbound travelers from Singapore and Malaysia should get to know this place especially if they’re booking on Qatar Airways.”
Apart from highlighting Qatar’s and Doha’s cultural attractions, rich heritage, shopping, top-ranked restaurants among its numerous offerings, both parties also point out Qatar is a safe destination to visit as well as its openness.
Wego cited reports indicating Qatar as one of the world’s top 10 safest countries with low crime rates, and the most open visa country in the Middle East and the 8th most open in the world (UNWTO Visa Openness Rankings).
Hospitality is also used as a selling point to attract more stopovers. Wego, quoting statistics from hospitality and travel data provider Olery, said Qatar hospitality ranks high. Hotel rooms received a score of 8.9 out of 9, which places Qatar at the top of the list, regionally. The country also received high marks in the rankings of cuisine (8.9), service (8.9) and facilities (8.5).