Bring on the tourists - Qatar gains approved destination status with China
Qatar has officially become an approved destination for Chinese tourists, following the signing of a bilateral agreement between Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA). The agreement allows Qatar to tap into the world’s largest outbound tourism market.
The agreement grants Qatar Approved Destination Status (ADS), allowing it to receive tourists from China and to promote Qatar as a tourism destination within China.
Li Jinzao, Chairman of CNTA, commented, “We are delighted to welcome Qatar to the list of countries that have ADS. This system aims to guarantee safe and reliable tourism services for Chinese customers, from both local travel agencies and international tour operators.”
His Excellency Sultan Salmeen Al Mansouri, Qatar’s Ambassador to China, said “We have been watching the Chinese outbound market grow by leaps and bounds over the past few years, reaching 135 million travellers in 2016. With growing interest from Chinese tourists to venture outside the Far East and explore the Arab world, this is a great opportunity to build new bridges between the two regions.”
HE added that the agreement also embodies Qatar’s support for the Belt and Road Initiative, for which Qatar was one of the first countries to express support. As more projects are implemented as part of the initiative, we expect more opportunities for collaboration between our two countries, particularly in commerce, tourism, sport and culture.”
Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer at QTA, added, “Thanks to a robust economy and an increasingly open tourism policy, the Chinese outbound tourism market has been the largest in the world since 2012, with the growth expected to continue. We are excited to work with our partners in the tourism industry to offer our renowned hospitality to our Chinese guests.”
Qatar is home to the award-winning five star airline Qatar Airways. The national carrier flies directly to 6 destinations in mainland China, including Beijing, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Shanghai, and Hangzhou.
Cover photo courtesy: Doha News