Published on : Tuesday, May 23, 2017
In the period 2016 to 2017, as many as 47,000 passengers and crew members had visited the shores of Qatar representing more than 1,000 percent rise as compared to the last season making it the largest so far, according to the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).
Of late, the members of the cruise tourism sector had gathered to celebrate the close of the 2016 to 2017 season that had concluded last month with remarkable growth in the number of cruise ships and passengers.
The representatives from all across the cruise tourism value chain comprising tour guides, tour operators, immigration, customs and port officials, operators of tourism landmarks were all recognized by Qatar Tourism Authority for their role. The visitors had arrived here on board 22 cruise vessels and one mega-yacht marking an increase of 120% from the number of cruise vessels that it had received last season.
Chief Tourism Development Officer at QTA, Hasan Al Ibrahim said that Qatar has been welcoming its first mega-ship, and also two cruise ships that dock simultaneously on Doha port for the very first time.
This is the season that cruise tourists were capable of leveraging a streamlined disembarking process and the freshly introduced free 96-hour transit visa.
The projections of QTA portray a three-fold increase in the number of cruise ship calls over the following three years. Currently QTA is working with partners to carefully plan, develop and manage the cruise terminal facilities, operations and infrastructure required to accomplish this growth.
Once all the developments have been done, estimates indicate that the cruise sector of Qatar has adequate potential to generate more than QR350 million per annum within 2026.
Irish, America, Swiss, French, German, Spanish, Italian and British tourists have all visited Qatar in cruise vessels of late.