Qatar in­vites Aussie trav­ellers to stop over

Life & Style Weekend - - TRAVEL -

AUS­TRALIAN trav­ellers pass­ing through Qatar can now spend up to four days ex­plor­ing the coun­try in a new visa deal to en­cour­age tourists to visit. Qatar Air­ways, which is govern­ment-owned, has paired up with the Qatar Tourism Author­ity to of­fer the visa for free to pas­sen­gers who have a stopover in Doha.

The city sits on the coast­line of the Per­sian Gulf and is known for its ex­treme weather.

Aus­tralians go­ing through Ha­mad In­ter­na­tional Air­port can ap­ply for the tran­sit visa up to a week be­fore their flight.

Pas­sen­gers with a lay­over of five hours or more are el­i­gi­ble for the visa.

“Our col­lab­o­ra­tion with Qatar Tourism Author­ity in set­ting the new tran­sit visa en­ables our pas­sen­gers to ex­plore the coun­try and its hos­pi­tal­ity,” Qatar Air­ways Group chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ak­bar Al Baker said.

“The tourism in­dus­try in Qatar is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing con­sid­er­able growth in­spired by the vi­sion of our lead­er­ship for an eco­nom­i­cally di­verse fu­ture.”

In a state­ment, QA said it had re­struc­tured its fares on in­ter­na­tional flights tran­sit­ing through Ha­mad

In­ter­na­tional Air­port to al­low for the visa to be in­tro­duced for free.

The Qatar Tourism Author­ity hopes the visa will at­tract in­ter­na­tional visi­tors.

“We have wit­nessed re­mark­able in­ter­est in the new tran­sit visa scheme from pas­sen­gers who an­tic­i­pate a stopover in Qatar, and we ex­pect this in­ter­est to trans­late into an in­crease in vis­i­tor ar­rivals over the com­ing months,” QTA chief tourism de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Has­san Al Ibrahim said.

Pas­sen­gers will need to ap­ply for the visa be­fore trav­el­ling and it can only be used once in a re­turn jour­ney.

Ha­mad In­ter­na­tional Air­port had more than 17 mil­lion trav­ellers pass through its ter­mi­nals in the first half of 2016.

Qatar Air­lines flies from Perth, Syd­ney, Ade­laide and Mel­bourne.

Its flights to lo­ca­tions such as Lon­don and Ed­in­burgh all stop over in Doha.

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