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Gianrico Esposito Gianrico Esposito

Q & A with Gianrico Esposito, General Manager, The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa

AS THE WESTIN DOHA HOTEL & SPA GEARS UP FOR ITS OFFICIAL OPENING, GIANRICO ESPOSITO, GENERAL MANAGER,

THE WESTIN DOHA HOTEL & SPA, DISCUSSES THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS AND TRENDS IN QATAR’S HOSPITALITY SCENE.

TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: What are the key pillars of the country’s tourism strategy that have enabled it to grow in the face of regional and global challenges?

GIANRICO ESPOSITO: One of the key pillars of Qatar’s tourism strategy, developed by the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), is the investment in the positioning of its MICE offering and the strong focus on business tourism.

In recent years Qatar has increasingly been developing its reputation as a regional business hub where business events can host large number of delegates without compromising on the quality of the service.

With the opening of The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa planned for early this year, we have already experienced a high level of interest in our state-of-the-art meeting and conference facilities, demonstrating the popularity of Doha as a MICE destination.

It is also a testament to the ever-growing need for high quality amenities for both small as well as large scale events, whether private celebrations or corporate events.

TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: The Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 aims to attract 7.4 million visitors by 2030. How will this sharp increase affect supply and demand?

GIANRICO ESPOSITO: As Qatar is being positioned as an exclusive travel destination for both business and leisure tourists, this will attract tourists from across the GCC as well as internationally and I think we will see more investment across all segments as we approach 2022 and the FIFA World Cup.

We, at The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa, are excited to introduce a whole new wellbeing hospitality concept to Qatar. To provide a truly holistic experience of wellbeing, each Westin programme is developed to help guests feel, work, move, eat, sleep and play well.

Guests can rejuvenate with a Heavenly Bath; energise with WestinWORKOUT; fuel up with our SuperFoodsRx offerings; and experience superior sleep in our signature Heavenly Bed. No matter how guests recharge, The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa offers every traveller a personal path to wellness.

TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: What are the main issues that need to be addressed in order to exploit the tourism industry’s full potential?

GIANRICO ESPOSITO: We are very much committed to working closely with QTA to ensure we are supporting the growth of Qatar’s tourism industry as envisioned in the Qatar National Vision 2030.

Doha is undergoing an urban transformation. The current development of large infrastructure projects, such as rail, roads, malls and local cultural amenities will only reinforce Qatar as one of the primary hubs for international business and tourism in the Middle East.

The Qatar Rail project, Doha Metro, in particular will make the city much more accessible for tourists, allowing fast and convenient movement between hotels and public amenities.

We believe that it is an exciting time to live and work in Qatar, especially over the next few years, when Doha will become a world-class thriving city in the lead-up to FIFA 2022.

TRAVEL TRADE WEEKLY: What are your priorities as you gear up for the launch?

GIANRICO ESPOSITO: As the hospitality market keeps growing at a fast pace, differentiation is key to our marketing strategy.

We will be focussing and targeting multinational corporations, government entities, corporate travel agencies and event organisers to further develop Qatar’s reputation as a business destination.

We have created a downtown sanctuary in the heart of bustling Doha, aiming to provide a truly holistic experience of wellbeing. […] Additionally, The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa also offers state-of-the-art events and meeting facilities, including the second largest pillarless ballroom in Doha, complete with VIP rooms designed to appeal to the local and regional wedding market.

With 365 rooms, six food and beverage outlets, and our internationally renowned Heavenly Spa, we believe The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa will be a welcomed addition to the Qatari hospitality scene.