QATAR: tourism expected to plunge

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Six Arab countries, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen plus the Maldives sever all diplomatic connections with the country Qatar, in what could be potentially the most significant decrease in tourism for the country to date.

With the UAE first making a stand on terrorism, a list of countries have followed the lead and ceased all air, sea and land traffic to Qatar due to strong beliefs that the small country is said to be undermining the security and safety of the region.

Tourism in Qatar is a priority sector, although gas and oil make up a large proportion of the economy, Qatar has been pushing tourism to enable growth and offer sustainability and stability for their country and to diversify the financial market.

With major airlines, Emirates and Etihad both suspending all flights to and from the Qatar capital, Doha, it has left hundreds of passengers stranded.

Flagship, domestic and low cost carriers throughout The Middle East and The Gulf, such as FlyDubai, Air Arabia and Gulf Air have also discontinued flights until further notice.

All air traffic for Qatari aircraft in most neighbouring countries has been closed, which leaves Qatar Airways no choice but to reroute flights over Iran.

Not only has this impacted upon many tourists and travellers for business and leisure who were booked and paid, this too will impact upon the airlines who have made the choice to cancel flights to Doha, which could also influence tourism in the area as a whole.

Along with flights being suspended, Qatar airways offices in the UAE have been forced to close business and all Qatari people have been forced to make way back to their home country.

For the five star airline, Qatar Airways, this will cause an extravagant drop in sales as this region is what creates a high number of revenue for the company, however in a comment to Business Insider the airline still shows highest care to all passengers offering protection and solutions.

“At Qatar Airways, our passengers remain our utmost priority, and we will continue to ensure they have a seamless journey to their final destinations.”

The Flight Centre Travel Group, the largest travel company within Australia expects that tourism within the region will see a decline in people visiting and airlines will compensate this crisis by offering generous sale prices to create an incentive for people to continue travel plans.

With limited information from the individual governments that have repudiated Qatar, people are left with no certainty or a foreseeable future at this point, and it is unknown as to how long this crisis could last or the depth of the impacts upon the region and the rest of the world.

Although the Australian Government has released no warnings for travellers visiting Qatar, Smartraveller advises travellers to contact their airline provider or travel agency to find more detailed information regarding flights and solutions.

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