Qatar’s plans to increase tourism here by 20 percent in the next five years will be backed up with new powers for the country’s tourism authority, the Peninsula newspaper reports.
According to bylaws being drawn up at the moment and expected to be issued before the end of the year, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) will have judicial powers to regulate the industry.
Under the tourism law, which came into force last August, all tour groups, guides and hotels are required to register with the QTA, and if they violate the tourism law, they can face up to a QR100,000 fine and/or the cancellation of their licence.
There isn’t much detail yet about the scope of the new regulations, but QTA chairman Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi has told Al Sharq newspaper that they are designed to encourage investment in private tourist businesses.
Focus on nature
If you’re a fan of Qatar’s mangroves and islands, you’ll be interested to hear that the QTA is keen to develop “nature tourism”:
“There is an emphasis on nature tourism and we are preserving several traditional spots in the country with this view” Al Mohannadi tells Al Sharq. “We are exploring all tourism spots, especially the islands. There is a plan to develop the islands in collaboration with the authorities responsible for development of the Doha Corniche.”
Credit: Dukhan Beach by Victoria Scott