Qatar said to see more cruise tourists, about 47,000 passengers and crew arrived on Qatar’s shores during 2016/17, which makes over 1,000 percent increase compared to previous year, according to Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).
Cruise tourism industry celebrated the closing of season 2016/17, with an enormous growth in the number of ships and passengers.
Agents from across the cruise tourism chain, along with immigration, port and customs officials; tour guides and tour operators, providers of logistical support and operators of tourism landmarks were recognised by Qatar Tourism Authority for their role in reaching this milestone.
Addressing attendees, Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer at QTA, said “In addition to being our busiest season to date, this was also a season of many firsts, with Qatar welcoming its first mega-ship, and two cruise ships docking simultaneously in Doha port for the first time. And, this season was the first time that cruise tourists were able to benefit from a new, streamlined disembarkation process, and the newly introduced free 96-hour transit visa.”
“None of this would have been possible without all of our partners who are with us today. On behalf of QTA, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you for your hard work, your support, and the collaborative spirit you have shown throughout the season.”
QTA projections shows a triple increase in the number of ship calls over the next three years. QTA is planning to develop, manage the facilities, infrastructure, operations needed to achieve growth.
The nationalities visiting Qatar on cruise ships are British, followed by Italian, Spanish, German, Belgian, French, Swiss, American, Brazilian and Irish.
In partnership with associates at the Ministry of Transport & Communication, Mwani – Qatar Ports Management Company, arrangements are continuing to upgrade the Doha Port this year. Once complete, the Port will be a world-class cruise ship hub and a tourist destination in the heart of Doha, helping to position the country as a perfection port by the 2018/19 cruise season.