Published on : Monday, January 6, 2014
The first major international tourism conference of its kind, ‘Tourism in Tomorrow’s World’ will be hosted by Stenden University Qatar (SUQ) in partnership with Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) next month. It will be held on February 23-24 at the Renaissance Doha City Centre hotel.
Under the patronage of the Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, the event is being organised in conjunction with Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company, part of Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani’s Al Faisal Holding group, and the European Tourism Futures Institute.
The annual meet will cover tourism and hospitality sectors, including “family” tourism, business tourism, cultural, sun and beach, sports, education, health and environmental tourism.
It will also address political tourism following the Arab Spring, new industry developments and trends in the GCC and factors which can affect tourism in the region.
The conference will underline the importance of tourism for Qatar and the region, focusing on Qatar’s recent tourism growth and showcasing its authentic culture, identity and heritage and focus on sustainability.
It will feature internationally renowned keynote speakers, including United Nations World Tourism Organisation Secretary General Dr Taleb Rifai, QTA Chairman Engineer Issa Al Mohannadi and top local and international tourism experts, academics and futurists.
Speakers from Arab Spring areas will be invited to discuss challenges facing “political” tourism in the region.
On a global scale, tourism is one of the largest industries in the world and contributes nine percent of the world’s GDP and provides 260 million jobs, with one in 11 being tourism-related.
QTA has predicted there will be up to 127,000 hospitality jobs in Qatar by 2030.
As Qatar emerges as a tourism hub in the region – with 81 hotels in Doha and another 110 under construction – the conference will spotlight the importance of the tourism industry as a career of choice.
Professor Robert Coelen, Vice-President International & Executive Dean of SUQ, said the conference will attract the world’s leading experts in hospitality and tourism to discuss key trends and the role Qatar is to play in the sector.
“Hospitality and tourism will be an increasingly important aspect of Qatar’s economic diversification and it is vital we ensure our young people are properly educated and trained to take on meaningful careers in hospitality and tourism. SUQ has an unrivalled reputation for the placement of its students in some of the top tourism and hospitality organisations in the world.”
Hassan Al Ibrahim, Director of Strategy Development and head of the tourism development committee, said: “QTA’s strategic priorities include developing the tourism sector through stakeholder engagement and inclusion in implementing the national tourism strategy 2030 and we have developed strong relationship with SUQ through initiatives.”