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Qatar Travel and Tourism

Qatar is an energy-rich nation that is consistently ranked as one of the richest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita. Qatari nationals and expatriates living in Qatar are an untapped market for U.S. travel and tourism and a viable market for U.S. destination marketing companies and travel representatives to pursue. Often competing with popular, European travel destinations, Qatari nationals opt to travel to the United States for retail and luxury shopping, medical procedures, education, conferences, and business. Qatari tourists, through their purchasing power, contribute significantly to the U.S. economy. Although Qataris tend to flock to just a few, popular U.S. destinations, there are immense opportunities to highlight new U.S. destinations and increase awareness among travelers in this small, but lucrative market.  

Ease of travel to the United States from the Gulf region is a considerable factor for promoting the U.S. travel and tourism industry. The national airline, Qatar Airways (QA), ranked the World’s Best Airline for the sixth time and a member of One World Alliance, expanded its strategic partnership with Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and JetBlue Airlines to offer seamless connectivity across the Americas. The company added new routes to enhance customer experience and currently has direct flights to 12 U.S. destinations: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. With 80 percent of the world’s population within a six-hour flight from Qatar, it is worthwhile to also explore collaborative opportunities with travel & tourism stakeholders in Qatar to attract more travelers to the United States.        

Globally, the pent-up-post-pandemic travel demand is growing and expected to surge in the next few quarters including the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) travel segment.  The summer season saw record travel, which will continue to peak particularly around holiday periods into the fall and winter.  Qatar Tourism recently launched a ‘Stopover Holiday Promotional Campaign’ to attract six million visitors a year by 2030, which could expand opportunities for U.S. companies in the hospitality sector, and U.S. ancillary travel service providers, such as car rentals, tour bus operators and event planners. Qatar’s tourism sector will be stretched thin from November 20-December 18, 2022, as host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. This large-scale sporting event is expected to have a positive economic impact on the country, enabling Qatar’s hard-hit tourism sector to flourish after the pandemic. With an estimated 1.5 million spectators coming to Qatar, the World Cup also revealed gaps in Qatar’s existing tourism infrastructure. Leading up to the World Cup, Qatar invested heavily into the construction of new roads, tunnels, schools, telecommunications projects, hotels, and hospitals. U.S. companies in the tourism, travel, and hospitality sector could provide solutions to fill remaining gaps in this industry for future large-scale sporting events in Qatar.

Commercial Service (CS) Qatar may be able to offer CS services to U.S. travel and tourism companies to promote their destination and meet with potential partners and business and leisure travelers to the United States. In addition, hospitality and ancillary travel service providers could also use CS services to expand their business in the region.                                                                              

For more information about this opportunity, please contact: Mr. Srinivasa Murthy, Commercial Assistant,

Sub-sectors with strong market potential include the following areas: 
•    Adventure Tourism
•    Educational Tours
•    Escorted Tours
•    MICE Travel 
•    Hunting Tourism

Next Steps for the U.S. Client

U.S. destination marketing companies interested in promotional activities in Qatar to attract individual and MICE segment travelers should work with Commercial Assistant Srinivasa Murthy ( at the U.S. Commercial Service in Qatar to explore matchmaking, single company promotion, market research, and other assistance. 

As the trade shows resume following the worst effects of Covid-19 pandemic, U.S. firms should also reach out to CS Qatar to note participation in trade shows in the travel and tourism sector and for introductions to Qatari-based travel representatives particularly promoting U.S. destinations at these shows.