31 Jan 2018 – 10:08

Qatar Tourism Authority upbeat about Shop Qatar

Mashal Shahbik, Director of Festivals and Tourism Events at QTA.

By Raynald C Rivera | The Peninsula

DOHA: With sold-out shows, increase in the number of participating malls, and huge sales despite the blockade, Shop Qatar 2018 has so far met the expectations of organisers, a Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) official has said.

To have sold-out events and enhance the participation of malls were among the targets set for the second edition of Shop Qatar, both of which have been achieved, according to Mashal Shahbik, Director of Festivals and Tourism Events at QTA.

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The number of shopping malls which partnered with QTA  for the festival has increased from 10 on its inaugural edition to 13 this year.

“The malls now understand the value of the festival that’s why the number of participating malls has increased compared last year,” said Shahbik, in response to a question at a press event yesterday.

The three sold-out ticketed weekly concerts featuring diverse artists to cater to different audiences had been a big achievement at this year’s festival, she said.

“When we initiated this ticket system, we had a mandate that we needed to have sold-out events and we achieved it this year,” said Shahbik, adding to present international concerts is a big step in showcasing the various attractions and activities of the country in varied platforms.

She was also satisfied with the turnout in participating malls as shown by the huge number of raffle coupons in the past draws.

In the first 12 days, more than 103,000 vouchers entered the two raffle draws representing around QR20.6m of spending. The previous year saw 63,000 vouchers in the first 13 days which accounted to QR12.6m in sales.

“The figures compared last year were not affected by the blockade. People are still buying goods; they enjoy shopping in Doha and they find Doha a good city to visit,” she stressed.

Since the blockade, Shahbik said QTA has redirected its focus from the regional market to tapping the international market and that they are optimistic there will be an increase in visitor arrivals from their target destinations.

The blockade has, in a way, created a positive impact on the way people in Qatar patronize the various events in the country as revealed by the huge turnout.

“Everyone in Doha sees the value of the events and activities whether organized by QTA or not. Everyone is passionate about everything that happens in Doha and is acting like ambassadors promoting the destination. We are thankful for the blockade because everyone now feels responsible for promoting Doha as a destination, how safe and joyful the destination is,” she said.