(MENAFN - The Peninsula) By Raynald C Rivera I The Peninsula
DOHA: Tourist arrivals from Qatar to the Czech Republic have seen 80 percent increase in the last three years based on figures from Prague Airport making the Central European country a popular destination for tourists from Qatar, Czech Tourist Authority (CzechTourism) has said.
The number of travellers from Qatar comprising both nationals and expatriates is expected to see a steady year-on-year rise owing to a number of factors.
'Travel from Qatar to the Czech Republic continues to be on the upswing and we believe that we are just at the beginning of a further surge of influx from Doha, considering the geographical proximity between the two countries and visa exemption. Furthermore, the two daily direct flights operated by Qatar Airways are making it an ideal destination to both short and long vacations for both individual and family travelers, said Monika Palatkova, Managing Director of CzechTourism.
Palatkova was speaking at a press conference at the Doha leg of CzechTourism's 'Discover Central Europe Middle East Road Show on Thursday which marked its first official entry in the Qatari market.
'The Qatari market is very important and has high potential in terms of quality because Qatari visitors are really very sophisticated and are searching for products that Czech Republic can offer. It's also very important to say that their average daily expenditure as well as their length of stay are above the range compared to other countries in the region and worldwide, she said.
Families, mature millennials and luxury-oriented travellers as well as meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) tourists are the target segments of CzechTourism's long-term strategy, Palatkova stressed.
Establishing a representative office in the region by next year or 2020 is part of the strategy to cement a stronger presence in the Middle East which has seen growing importance for CzechTourism, she added.
Czech Republic is known to travellers for its over 1200 castles, 12 Unesco World Heritage sites, thermal spas, crystal glass, picturesque places and stunning cultural landscapes.
'We want to highlight that the Czech Republic is more than just Prague and leverage our natural and cultural heritage to more travellers from Qatar, said Palatkova, adding they also want to promote the country's crystal handmade products, good gastronomy and luxury products in addition to spa and MICE tourism.
She also highlighted that Halal food is widely available in Czech Republic as CzechTourism and its trade partners had been focusing on the Middle East market for a long time.
Addressing the press conference, Ambassador of Czech Republic to Kuwait Martin Dvorak expressed optimism on how the dynamic relations between Qatar and Czech Republic have been developing.
The ambassador also praised the successful B2B workshops and presentations for travel professionals and Czech glass producers' workshop which comprised the road show, and highlighted the many business opportunities for Czech companies in Qatar.
'We could see at today's glassmakers' workshop that the art of Bohemian glass and crystals attracts a lot of attention and is being internationally recognized for its high quality, craftsmanship, beauty and innovative design. I am proud that the Czech Embassy in Kuwait, in cooperation with our partners, CzechTourism and Qatar Chamber was able to open the door to Czech companies to the many business opportunities that exist in Qatar, said Dvorak.
Pavel Kopacek, President, Union of Glass and Costume Jewellery Producers, also spoke at the event in which he underlined the long history and heritage of the Czech Republic as a global leader in glass and crystal industry.