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STATE OF QATAR FIRST MIDDLE EAST COUNTRY TO HOST WORLD TOURISM DAY 2005

HOST COUNTRY QATAR TO SHOWCASE ITS ACHIEVEMENTS AND PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

DOHA, 9 September 2005 - The State of Qatar will proudly host this year's World Tourism Day on the 27th of September. Celebrations will include Qatar's first National Tourism Conference and a series of accompanying events, announced Qatar Tourism Authority.

Qatar will take this opportunity to evaluate its remarkable achievements in establishing itself as a tourism destination and important player in international travel. At the same time it will commence a new era of public-private partnership in tourism, especially in light of ambitious plans for the forthcoming period, including infrastructure associated with the new airport and organization of events such as the Asian Games in 2006.

World Tourism Day (WTD) is celebrated worldwide every 27th September. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) General Assembly at its 15th session in Beijing, China (2003), designated Qatar to be the first WTD host country in the Middle East.

"It (WTD) will be a day of a special importance for our country," said The Chairman of the Qatar Tourism Authority H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker. The theme of this year's WTD is "Travel and Transport: From the Imagination of Jules Verne to 21st Century Reality".

Speakers at the National Tourism Conference will include the WTO Secretary-General Francesco Frangialli and representatives of Qatar's hotel industry, travel agencies and other segments. "We expect an enriching conference, which will facilitate an important dialogue between the private and the public sectors." Main partner of the event will be Qatar Airways.

Several accompanying events will highlight the importance of tourism among the local population. "We shall convey a clear message that tourism, if developed and managed in a sustainable manner will benefit our culture,environment, economy and enhance the positive image of Qatar in the world,"the QTA Chairman H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker underscored.

Organized by the World Tourism Organization, a United Nations specialised agency for tourism based in Madrid, Spain, WTD is an international day meant to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic values.

About World Tourism Day

The mission of World Tourism Day (WTD) is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social,cultural, political and economic values. WTD is commemorated under different themes on 27 September each year since 1980 by appropriate event son themes selected by the WTO General Assembly. The World Tourism Organization is the leading international tourism body and a specialised agency of the United Nations with a seat in Madrid, Spain. Its membership's comprised of 146 Member States, seven Associate Members and more than 300 Affiliate Members representing the private sector. For more information visit: www.world-tourism.org/wtd/eng/menu.html or www.world-tourism.org

For further information please contact:

WTO Press and Communications Department

Tel.: (34) 91-567-8193 / Fax: (34) 91-567-8218

E-mail: comm@world-tourism.org

www.world-tourism.org

www.qatartourism.gov.qa