By Andy Sambidge
Qatar Tourism Authority announces new tourism project named Samana (Our Skies)
Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has launched a new tourism project named Samana (Our Skies), which provides helicopter tours and sightseeing in and around Qatar.
The launch event was held at the headquarters of Gulf Helicopters at the old Doha Airport and will see helicopter tours organised to view Qatari sites.
QTA said it has created the new touristic attraction and developed the idea with support from Ministry of Transport and the Qatar Armed Forces, and it will be operated by Gulf Helicopters, a statement said.
QTA added that it has also reached a partnership agreement with Regency Travels, which expressed an interest to promote and sell this experience through its offices.
"Tourism is one of the most important sectors connected with the transport and communications industries. There is a positive relationship between the two sectors. The more efficient and developed the transport sector, the more efficient and developed the tourism sector becomes," said Jassim Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport.
Al Sulaiti said the idea of using helicopters will open up a new tourism revenue avenue.
Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, chairman of QTA, added: "The importance of launching this new tourism project lies in strengthening the partnership between the public and private sectors with the aim of introducing groundbreaking tourism products that upgrade tourism and turn a visit to Qatar into an enriching and special experience by carrying out unique activities."
He said the Samana project will boost Qatar's national tourism strategy, which seeks to increase the ratio of visitors who are seeking leisure tourism in Qatar from currently 27 percent to 60 percent of all visitors by 2030.
Helicopter tours will be conducted every Friday-Saturday weekend with two tours each day. The morning one will be from 9am to midday, and the afternoon one will be from 3-6pm.
Tourism data for the first half of 2014 showed that the Qatari tourism sector is still showing strong performance.
Total visitor arrivals to Qatar grew by 8 percent in the first six months reaching 1.42 million. More than half a million GCC nationals (536,264) visited Qatar, representing 38 percent of tourists.
In the first half of 2014, the average hotel occupancy rose from 67 percent to 74 percent compared to the same period of last year.
Helicopter Sightseeing in Qatar!.Brilliant idea. The entire landscape can be driven on the road in about 1 hour and 3o minutes within which around 90 percent of the total landscape is barren desert. There are some funny looking buildings in the west bay area
It appears to be the sheer brilliance of some of the top bosses at Gulf Helicopters to continue in their employment.
He he now that's funny Ibrahim. Perhaps the can showcase the roof of all the Malls. Or report on lack of traffic flow he he.