Ahead of the FIFA World Cup, to be held in November this year, Tawfeeq Travel will be focusing on bespoke travel experience in Qatar. Rehan Ali, CEO, Tawfeeq Travel, said, “Our key focus this year is to establish and position our DMC Tawfeeq Travel across the globe due to FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Qatar Tourism is investing heavily on organising various events throughout the year so that tourists and visitors can experience the hospitality in Qatar before the big event happens in November. The focus of Qatar government is to position Qatar as a key destination for MICE, Leisure and as a destination for big weddings. Tawfeeq Travel will bring in bespoke travel experience in Qatar.”
Ali further reiterated the importance of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) and their presence at the event after a long time. “ATM is a key travel show in the region that helps to connect with different service providers, suppliers from different segment of the markets across the globe, as well as gives access to new technologies that has been introduced by the tech providers. After a gap of almost three years, I am excited to participate physically and be part of this event. We have our own desk as Tawfeeq Travel with Qatar Tourism stand.”
As Qatar is one of the largest gas producers, corporate travel has seen an increase of almost 80 per cent of the pre-COVID era. Ali elaborates, “Corporate travel has been gradually picking up since last year, Qatar being one of the largest gas producers have long term bilateral relationship with all the major countries and due to year around rig operations the marine business has kept them moving. As of now corporate travel in Qatar has reached almost 80 per cent of the pre-COVID era levels and we are hopeful by third quarter we will surpass the pre-COVID levels. Qatar market has been resilient to the global political situation and has shown positive trends as compared to both global and regional markets. As per IATA, they are leading in terms of growth in both markets.”
The biggest event of the year in the region will be FIFA World Cup, to be held in Q4. Ali shares what is in store and their many initiatives for the event. “FIFA World Cup is one of the biggest events on earth and we are all excited and looking forward to the event. We are working closely with other FIFA subsidiaries such as Match Hospitality, Cutting Edge from India, who are working on providing ground transportation and accommodation in Qatar during the event. As you are aware FIFA is in control of the entire event to ensure seamless event. On the other hand, we are working closely with several cruise liners for the cruise season, which runs from November till April. In the last cruise season prior to COVID, Qatar received more than 250K tourists through cruise arrivals. The recently concluded Eid festivals witnessed thousands of tourists flocking the streets of Qatar, and Qatar Tourism continues to work relentlessly to get more tourists into Qatar,” he said.
Ali also discussed the current trends prevalent in the destination. “Qatar is leading the region in recovery post pandemic, Q2 trends show Qatar is almost 7-9 per cent surging above the 2019 levels, which is quite promising for travel fraternity. The luxury travel has bounced back, in fact grown by almost 5-6 per cent. The key destinations that are popular among the Qatari citizens are Maldives, Mauritius, Turkey, London, Greece, Switzerland and, of course, not to forget the pilgrimage trip. Among the expat communities, there is a major trend to Turkey, Georgia, Armenia and Dubai. Generally, in Qatar the short breaks for citizens and residents are from 4-7 days. However, for summer the breaks are much longer, a Qatari citizen will travel from 6-8 weeks, whereas an expat will end up between 3-4 weeks. For summer, we are seeing quite a few bookings coming for long cruise with Qataris, whereas expat prefer to go back to their home country or stretch to Far East for a short break before heading back to home country,” he concluded.