(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Many international companies in the food and food services sector have identified growth and investment opportunities in Qatar despite the current political situation in the region, according to organisers of the upcoming ‘3rd Hospitality Qatar'.
IFP Qatar general manager George Ayache said many countries represented by their respective companies in the food and food services sector continue to express heightened interest in Qatar.
'At least 80% of the new participants in the third instalment of Hospitality Qatar are from the food and food services sector, Ayache told Gulf Times yesterday on the sidelines of a press conference on Hospitality Qatar, which is slated on November 7 to 9 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Asked if the economic blockade had any impact on Qatar's hospitality sector, Ayache said: 'It had a positive impact on the exhibition. Also, there are continuous investment opportunities in the country regardless of the political situation in the region. We see new countries entering the Qatari market and they are using Hospitality Qatar as a platform or a gateway to penetrate the Qatari market.
He also said this year's Hospitality Qatar will also benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Qatar, which are also participating in the exhibition.
'We have encouraged a lot of Qatari companies and more than 40% of the exhibition will see the participation of local companies, Ayache pointed out.
Ayache stressed that hospitality is one of the main sectors instrumental in achieving the Qatar National Vision 2030.
'Hospitality Qatar, in its third edition, continues to play its strategic role in facilitating a sectoral working environment for policymakers and industry leaders such as investors, hoteliers, restaurateurs, cafes owners, and suppliers. With our latest focus on the food and catering industry, we are confident that this edition will create new synergies and spur further growth opportunities in the sector.
'Qatar is keen to build a sustainable hospitality sector based on the goals set under Qatar 2030 National Tourism Sector Strategy. Being one of the fastest growing sectors in the country, Qatar is attaching great importance to the hospitality sector, Ayache said.
In 2016, Ayache said the show attracted 106 exhibitors from 15 countries, which showcased their supplies and services in the Hotel/Restaurant/Café (Horeca) segment.
For this year's edition, Ayache said IFP Qatar expects footfall to increase with the participation of 153 exhibitors from 16 countries. The three-day event comprises three zones: Food & Beverage, Supply & Design, and Hotel & Franchise Investment.
Also, live events will be lined up to attract footfall for Salon Culinaire, a live cooking competition, a mocktail competition, barista competition, among others during the exhibition, said Ayache.
'At least 80% of the new participants in the third instalment of Hospitality Qatar are from the food and food services sector, says IFP Qatar general manager George Ayache. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed
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