Qatar standoff has repercussions for all Middle East carriers

Qatar standoff has repercussions for all Middle East carriers

The continuing diplomatic dispute between Qatar and some of its neighbours will have a negative impact on the travel industry across the Middle East, says the Top 100 City Destination Ranking WTM London 2017 Edition.

The report, from Euromonitor International, says there will be “no winners amongst the Middle East airlines”.

In early June, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt ended diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed a land, air and sea blockade on it. As a result, direct and connecting flight schedules to, from and via Qatar have been hit.

Qatar Airways is the main loser in the turmoil with 30% of its revenues under threat, the report says.

However, all carriers in the region will see a reduction in demand while the restrictions remain in place. The other major airlines – Etihad and Emirates – have significant exposure to the Qatar market and are likely to suffer financially as well.

These three airlines have been among the fastest growing, biggest spending and highest profile global carriers over the past twenty years.

Elsewhere, Qatar’s capital, Doha, is ranked 64th in the Euromonitor Top 100 City Ranking. The 2017 international arrivals number is tipped to increase by 3.8% on 2016’s return, breaking through the three million barrier.  By 2020 this figure will reach 3.4 million and by 2025 it could be 4.5 million.

WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “Qatar, Etihad and Emirates are among the world’s leading airlines and have helped the economic prosperity of the region to grow in recent years. Hopefully the current situation will be addressed and the region’s travel industry can return to growth, investment and innovation.”



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World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises five leading B2B events across four continents generating more than $7bn of industry deals. The events are;

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL – London every November generating around £2.8 billion of travel industry contracts. Next event: 6-8 Nov 2017 – London.

International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) now in its 20th edition, is the meeting place for the global B2B golf travel community. More than 600 golf tourism suppliers join 350 pre-qualified buyers and 100 international press for four days of unmissable pre-scheduled appointments, exclusive networking opportunities and invaluable industry and trend updates. Taking place in a different destination every year, IGTM brings together 1,400 golf tourism professionals from over 65 countries. Next event: 11-14 Dec 2017 – Cannes.

WTM Latin America now in its fifth edition attracts about 9,000 unique senior executives. The event generates US$ 370 million of new business. Taking place in Sao Paulo Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 7,000 unique visitors attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news. Next event: 3-5 April 2018 – Sao Paulo.

WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. Next event: 18-20 April 2018 – Cape Town.

 Arabian Travel Market (ATM) is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2017 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, agreeing deals worth US$2.5bn over the four days. The 24th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, making it the largest ATM in its 24-year history. Next event 22-25 April 2018 – Dubai.

 About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face to face through data and digital tools at over 500 events a year, in more than 30 countries, attracting more than 7m participants.

About Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.

More information, please contact:

Paul Nelson – WTM Portfolio PR Manager


T: +44 (0)20 8910 7032/ M: +44 (0)79 1955 5510

Natalia Hartmann – WTM Portfolio PR Executive


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