Ramada pushes Qatar image as key destination
The Ramada Hotel Doha says it is working with the Qatar General Tourism Authority (QGTA) to promote the country as a major regional destination.The hotelÕs director of sales, Ian Lillie, said it had already resulted in a significant increase in percentage terms from the leisure market. ÒWe run ÔGolf in the GulfÕ packages aimed at GCC expats, which has probably been our most successful leisure programme launched so far,Ó said Lillie. He said the hotel was currently finalising details of its promotions this summer as part of QatarÕs Summer Wonders campaign. For residents, however, the hotel has already lined up special summer rates until August 31, offering two night packages on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday for QR199 ($54.6) plus 17 per cent taxes. Children under 12 can stay free if sharing with parents under the package. Lillie said the regional leisure market has experienced a huge growth which will continue as long as the region remains stable and peaceful. He said that although Qatar had not yet seen a large increase in leisure travel, growth prospects were bright as a result of efforts by the QGTA, the government and the local industry. Although room availability in Qatar had jumped by 100 per cent in the last 18 months, he felt the authorities were aware that new leisure business had to be promoted to ensure that the hotels continue to prosper. Lillie also said that although the Ramada HotelÕs primary target market was the corporate traveller, the hotel was working to ensure that it got its fair share of the new leisure business. The hotel which has seen year on year occupancy increase by 7 per cent to 78 per cent in the year to date, would be opening its new ÒSakuraÓ Japanese restaurant this summer. Later in the year, the hotel will also begin refurbishing its lobby, he said.