Discover Qatar, the destination management subsidiary arm of Qatar Airways, has announced that it has launched a digital transformation project, and will implement innovative digital technology to enable Qatar’s growing inventory of hotel rooms and services to connect with global tour operators and travel providers on one digital platform.
The system provided by technology company Illusions will allow global tour operators and passengers to have an enhanced and seamless journey when searching for and booking their perfect Discover Qatar experience. Additionally, as an inclusive project, it will empower all relevant and regulated suppliers and service providers in the Qatari market to offer their products globally via the Discover Qatar system.
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Discover Qatar is the first destination management company to use this unique exchange technology platform in the region, marking another milestone for Qatar Airways. One of the major benefits of the new technology is that it offers the destination of Qatar immediate connectivity to more than 140 global travel partners already connected to the Illusions IWTX exchange platform.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “At Qatar Airways, we continue to raise the bar and innovate across all areas of our business as part of our five-star product offering. Discover Qatar’s technology is one of the finest destination management company digital solutions in the world, and will provide our travel partners and our passengers with not only a flexible, reliable and scalable platform, but also access to the full range of services, experiences and accommodation that our beautiful country holds, in a seamless digital experience.
“As the national carrier of the State of Qatar, we are very proud to be playing a key role in the growth of Qatar’s tourism industry. Qatar Airways is connected to more than 30,000 travel companies globally, and this new technology will make every process easier for those global travel operators wishing to offer Qatar as a destination of choice to their customers. Through this initiative, we are looking forward to welcoming more tourists to Qatar, to experience our unique culture, warm hospitality and spectacular landscapes.”
Illusions Online Chief Executive, Mr. Faisal Memon, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Qatar Airways on this project. Discover Qatar and the destination of Qatar itself are now able to connect their inventories to global partners, whilst also benefiting from dynamic connectivity to 90 per cent of the world’s major hotel chains global inventory. With just four years to go until Qatar 2022, the introduction of this platform now is a major enabler for Discover Qatar in the provision of beds and ground services for that tournament to Qatar Airways customers globally.
Earlier this year, Discover Qatar announced its latest selection of pre-bookable city and desert tours for passengers transiting through Qatar, making it one of the world’s leading inbound tourism providers for transit passengers. Initially launched in 2015, the transit tours are aimed at passengers with a transfer time of between five and 12 hours at Hamad International Airport. The latest selection of tours include visiting key landmarks such as The Pearl-Qatar for the finest quality shops and restaurants; Katara Cultural Village, a centre dedicated to celebrating arts and heritage; Souq Waqif, for traditional jewellery, spices and handicrafts; and the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), for its stunning collection of art, architecture and beautiful park.
In addition, passengers can book a unique desert experience and visit Sealine Beach and the sand dunes of Mesaieed either in the exclusive off-road monster bus or a luxury 4 X 4 vehicle during their stopover. Alongside city and desert tours, transit passengers can also book the ‘Stop & Shop’ tour, which offers a chauffeur-driven car to the Mall of Qatar – home to luxury fashion brands and world-class restaurants.
In addition to the Discover Qatar transit tours, Discover Qatar offers a range of other services for passengers by bringing together the best stopover packages, hotels and ground arrangements. Visitors can select from an array of four-and five-star hotels, airport transfers, desert safari and city tours on Discover Qatar’s website: https://discoverqatar.qatarairways.com/
Last year, Discover Qatar also signed exclusive partnership agreements with four of the world’s major tour operators in Russia, Italy, Czech Republic and Ukraine to promote the country as a major tourist destination.
In August 2017, Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI), QTA and Qatar Airways announced that nationals from more than 80 countries can take advantage of visa-free entry into Qatar, thanks to Qatar’s new visa waiver upon arrival. Depending on the nationality of the visitor, the waiver will either be valid for 180 days from the date of issue, and allow the visitor to spend a total of 90 days in Qatar (multiple-entry waiver); or it will be valid for 30 days from the date of issue and entitle the visitor to spend up to 30 days in Qatar with the possibility of applying for an extension of the waiver for an additional 30 days (multiple-entry waiver).
Qatar’s national carrier was voted Skytrax ‘Airline of the Year’ by travelers from around the world, and the airline also won a raft of other major awards at the 2017 ceremony, including ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge’.