Mumbai, May 3 : Eyeing a chunk of tourists from India, the world's second largest outbound tourists market, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has opened an office here on Thursday.
QTA's Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer Rashed AlQurese said the decision was taken in view of the rapid growth of India's outbound tourism market in recent years, coupled with QTA's intensified efforts to diversify and grow visitor source.
"The steps taken to make accessing Qatar easier are particularly targeted at visitors seeking to experience our country's luxury hospitality and unique cultural offerings, all while benefiting from the convenience of relatively short flights," AlQurese told media persons.
The QTA has about a dozen offices worldwide including in Moscow, Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, the US, China, Russia, the Gulf Cooperation Council markets and South East Asia, he added.
According to a United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimate, India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020.
Similarly, the market for travel and tourism in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 7.23 per cent during the period 2016-2021.
QTA's office here will oversee a wide range of promotional initiatives, including workshops, sales visits, travel agents destination training, partnerships with tour operators, familiarisation trips, media campaigns and other innovative activities to boost Qatar as a leisure and business tourism destination.
After Qatar waived entry visas for Indians last year, it has become an increasingly accessible destination for Indian travellers, with more than 110,000 visitors in the first quarter of 2018.
The Qatar Airways has 100 weekly direct flights connecting the capital Doha to thirteen major cities across India and 67 flights from India to Qatar by major airlines like Air India Express, Indigo Airlines and Jet Airways.
Indian nationals can enter Qatar visa-free, for 30 days' stay, which can be extended by another similar period.