Qatar has officially become an approved destination for Chinese tourists, following the signing of a bilateral agreement between Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) on Tuesday, Qatar news agency (QNA) reported.
The agreement grants Qatar an "Approved Destination Status (ADS)," allowing it to receive Chinese tourists and hold tourism promotional activities within China, QNA reported.
The signing aims to guarantee safe and reliable tourism services for Chinese customers, from both local travel agencies and international tour operators, said Li Jinzao, Chairman of CNTA.
He noted that the Qatari tourism sector made great strides, and Chinese travelers will find fulfilling experiences and a high level of service in Qatar.
Qatar's ambassador to China Sultan Salmeen Al-Mansouri said Qatar has been watching the Chinese outbound tourism market grow by leaps and bounds over the past few years, reaching 135 million travelers in 2016.
Al-Mansori added that with growing interest from Chinese tourists to venture and explore the Arab world, this is a great opportunity to build new bridges between the two countries.
This agreement also boosts Qatar's support for the Belt and Road Initiative, as Qatar was one of the first countries to express support, he added.
Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer at QTA, added that "we are excited to work with our partners in the tourism industry to offer our renowned hospitality to our Chinese guests. We look forward to welcoming visitors as they discover our cultural heritage and natural treasures."
Qatar is home to Qatar Airways, the award-winning five-star airline and the World's Best Business Class Airline in the 2017. The national carrier flies directly to six destinations in Chinese mainland, including Beijing, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Shanghai, and Hangzhou.