X

QTM2021 opened with great fanfare as Minister of Commerce and Industry, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Qassim Al-Abdullah Al-Thani, and the Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group CEO, Mr. Akbar Al Baker inaugurated the exhibition at DECC

Nov 16, 2021 by NeXTfairs

Doha, Qatar - November 16, 2021. Qatar Travel Mart (QTM) 2021, organised by NeXTfairs for Exhibitions and Conferences, opened with a top-level Opening Ceremony as the Minister, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Qassim Al-Abdullah Al-Thani inaugurated the exhibition with a ribbon cutting. The ribbon cutting ceremony was also attended by the Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, the Co-Founder and General Manager of NeXTfairs, Mr. Rawad Sleem, Vice Chairman of Al Hattab Holding, Mr. Abdulaziz Saad Al Kaabi, and Acting Chief Executive Officer of Katara Hospitality, Mr. Andrew Humphries. Attended by more than 70 prominent VIPS including representatives of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group, Discover Qatar & Qatar Holidays, Katara Hospitality, Qatar Aviation Authority, Qatar Free Zone Authority and Ashghal as well as 18 country Ambassadors and representatives from Germany, Tanzania, Spain, Korea, Egypt, Mexico, Tajikistan, Thailand, Japan, Dominican Republic, Republic of Haiti, Srilanka, Switzerland, Italy, India, Indonesia, Rwanda, Azerbaijan. Also attending were representatives of Qatar Aeronautical Academy, Marriott International, AMFORHT, AlFardan Group, and Abuissa Group. The Opening Ceremony was followed by a VIP tour of all the major stands and country pavilions with the Minister ceremoniously cutting a cake at Katara Hospitality’s stand straight after the ribbon cutting.

The QTM event, the first of its kind, is under the Patronage of the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, H.E. Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani and attracted the full support of numerous industry sponsors and partners.  Founding Partner is Katara Hospitality, Qatar Tourism the Strategic Partner, Qatar Airways Holidays the Founding Leisure Partner, along with Discover Qatar.  The Supreme Committee is the Founding Sports Partner, Qatar Airways the Official Airline and Mowasalat the Official Transport Partner. Amadeus is the event’s Technology Partner, Retaj Hotels & Hospitality the Gold Sponsor and Gulf Adventures and Elite Motors are Silver Sponsors.  Association Partners include The World Association for Hospitality and Tourism Education and Training (AMFORHT), World Leisure Organisation (WLO), and World Tourism Association for Culture & Heritage (WTACH).

Rawad Sleem, Co-Founder and General Manager of NeXTfairs for Exhibitions and Conferences, explained: “Our first Qatar Travel Mart is a triumph for all in our industry from new countries, new sponsors, and prominent VIPs attending and the Minister of Commerce and Industry, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Qassim Al-Abdullah Al-Thani and the Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker inaugurating the event. We are especially pleased to see the conference agenda featuring such high-profile names and proud to have attracted a total of 150 exhibitors from 34 countries. QTM 2021 represents a boost for Qatar Tourism, a key priority for Qatar’s economy, and the revival of the sector after the pandemic in the build-up of international interest in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™next year.”

He continued: “QTM is launching at a time when "Qatar Tourism" Marketing is undergoing significant transformation. With the launch of a comprehensive campaign across 17 countries, Qatar will propel into the spotlight for many years to come. There is no doubt that Qatar's tourism sector has a bright future with a plan to increase the tourism GDP contribution from 6% to 12% by 2030, and it will take a lot of effort to provide an excellent level of service to fulfill that mandate.  QTM is very much part of that effort.”

The inauguration of the QTM Conference was commenced by keynote speech of Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, with topic of “The Importance of Tourism for the Qatar National Vision 2030 and The Developments and Remarks in Qatar”, followed by a speech from Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Museums Mr. Ahmad Musa Al Namla.

The event’s high-profile three-day Conference covered topics such as what the future holds for travel and tourism and a CEO Panel Discussion focusing on Behavioral Changes of Consumers and Hiring and retention of Employees in the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. The great line up of high-profile travel & tourism experts from around the world as speakers included Nigel Fell – President & CEO of The World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage (WTACH), Philippe Francois – President of the World Association for Hospitality and Tourism Education and Training (AMFORHT), Dr Cristina Ortega Nuere – Chief Scientific and COO of the World Leisure Organization, Florian Sengstschmid - CEO of Azerbaijan Tourism Board,  Emad Abu Jalala - CEO Gulf Adventures, Dr Ivan Ninov - Executive Dean of Al Rayyan International University College (ARIU), Sergey Sukhanov - CEO of Corporation Tourism, RF, JSC, Nuno Anahory - Chairman of Forum Portugal Qatar, Dr Sunny - Managing Director of Maldives Halal Travel Guide, Nick Wilkinson - Regional Vice President of the Norwegian Cruise Line, in addition to other keynote speakers.

The event featured a Hosted Buyers’ Program, involving influential buyers from 15 countries including England, Germany, Russia, France, Malaysia, Turkey, Sweden, Denmark and the USA to network with exhibitors and close profitable deals. 

A three-day media familiarisation trip for international media was organised to showcase the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™next year stadiums and many of Qatar’s famous cultural sites and attractions, as well as to experience Qatar’s impressive hospitality landmarks. The International Media Partners are truly cosmopolitan and come from India, Malaysia, UK, China, Dubai, Canada and Russia.

Visitors can register for the event online as well as registering at the event itself. In order to maintain safety, visitors need to adhere to safe distancing when receiving badges for lead retrieval, which will then be scanned by exhibitors.