Qatar Tourism Authority woos tourists via sport

The Paris Saint-Germain’s (PSG) men’s football team will be playing against Real Madrid FC on January 2 in a friendly match to highlight the 3rd season Winter Tour and training camp in the country, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has announced.

Rashed al-Qurese, director of Marketing and Promotions at QTA, told reporters yesterday that they were capitalising on this annual sport event to showcase not only football but Qatar’s tourism destinations to European audiences. The tour will start on December 29.

“We are trying to promote Qatar through different channels such as sports tourism. This is not only for football fans but it’s more of a universal thing since we are really targeting different audiences,” he said.

Fans will have the chance to watch popular football stars  such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Thiago Silva, live. They will also see the women’s team in action, the runners-up of the French Division 1 in 2011 and 2013.

Besides football stars, al-Qurese noted that they have also partnered with PSG’s Handball team in a bid to promote the Handball World Championship set to be held in Qatar in 2015.

He also announced that they had launched a TV commercial dubbed as “Paris comes to Doha” which will be aired starting today along with a dedicated website (psg.qatartourism.gov.qa) for the Winter Tour.

About the number of potential visitors for the tour, he said: “For this one, it is not the number of tourists that come specifically for the game, but it is about the long term brand equity value that we give to Qatar as a tourist destination”.

QTA believes that an annual event like the PSG Winter Tour increases the percentage of potential tourists who want to see the unique and well-known places in Qatar.

While trying to reach millions of football fans worldwide, QTA has also engaged its target audience through competitions
such as the “Fan Reporter” contest.

Out of 700 who joined, one of the fans named Sébastien Prigent was recently selected to be the official Fan Reporter of the team. He will be joining the PSG and his favourite players to report live in Qatar their activities via the social media. Some 800 fans have also joined a second competition which will select at least five persons and guests of their choice to follow their team to Qatar.

QTA has also launched a GCC-wide social media competition to select a fan who will receive an all-inclusive trip to the country for the PSG-Real Madrid FC match. Those who are interested to join should visit the QTA’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Gulf Times

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