Qatar’s cruise sector sees remarkable success: Official

Qatar’s cruise business has soared to new heights, drawing in not only a significant influx of cruise passengers but also attracting a remarkable number of turnaround visitors.

Qatar Tourism COO, Berthold Trenkel said in a panel discussion recently that: “the cruise business was extremely successful, and it was not just cruise visitors, it was what we call in technical term the ‘turnaround visitors’, a guest who’s arriving via Qatar Airways, coming through Hamad International Airport, staying in Qatar and boarding the ship and getting off the ship here, big change.”

“Cruise was a big factor in our numbers early in the year.”

The Cruise season 2022/2023, which concluded in the first week of April, saw 273,666 passengers and crew. About 55 ships were scheduled during this season which started in December last year. 

The ships that docked at Doha Port included Le Bougainville, MSC WORLD EUROPA, Artania, Costa Toscana, AidaCosma, Emerald Azzurra, and Mein Schiff 6, among others.  Mwani Qatar said that the number is an outstanding record for the 2022/2023 season for cruise traffic which is 166 percent higher compared to the 2021/2022 season. 

A total of 19,400 visitors made their turnaround trips through the port in Qatar, according to the country’s national port authority.

The COO explained that the country achieved nearly 1.5 million visitors in the first four months of the year in terms of arrival numbers.

Moreover, he said that another factor behind the record number of arrivals is the visitors travelling to Qatar via land. 

“Second one, land border, record breaking number when you think about Eid visitors or prior to Eid when neighbouring countries had vacation. We are hoping for even more records some of it this summer, and of course more of them at the end of the year.”

According to Trenkel, increased inbound destination spending can be attributed to two factors: the substantial recovery in travel following the COVID-19 pandemic and the surpassing of pre-pandemic arrival figures by many countries.

He said both locals and foreigners would enjoy a wide range of compelling and engaging programmes, and that information on these summer activities will be released by the end of this month. 

“There’s so much to do in Qatar and they have to check it out. We’re all excited, post World Cup, so many new things to do.”

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