Posted on April 22, 2016

Majority of the visitors to this year’s Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) were Qataris, a survey by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has found. According to the survey, 56.5 percent of the visitors were Qataris,  40 percent were expatriates and 3.5 percent were tourists from the other GCC countries and regions.

The festival attracted a record 200,000 visitors during its seven-day run, based on daily visitor counts at the three venues — Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park, Katara and the Pearl-Qatar. “The festival is one of the events in which we are trying to attract tourists through the festival calendar. “The figures show that the number of visitors to the festival jumped from 170,000 last year to 200,000 this year,” said Mashal Shahbik, Director, Festivals and Events, QTA.

Shahbik was speaking at an event on Wednesday to thank all hotels and restaurants that took part in the festival and the festival’s partners, sponsors and media outlets. According to the survey, 44  percent of visitors were friends, 30 percent families and 22 percent couples. Some 69 percent of visitors spent a minimum of three hours at the festival. In its seventh edition, the festival was expanded to seven days and at three locations. Based on the survey, 67 percent of visitors at the venues were very satisfied.

Of those surveyed, 50 percent were willing to travel from abroad to attend the festival and 67 percent would recommend to their families, friends and colleagues to visit QIFF. The respondents said they were 80 percent satisfied of all activities at the festival. Thirty-four percent of the respondents’ age range was 26 to 35, 31 percent (18-25), 22 percent (36-45), 8 percent  (46-50), 2 percent (less than 18 and 2 percent (above 50). This year’s festival was billed the largest and most popular yet in terms of the number of visitors and the stellar line-up of celebrity chefs, including world-renowned Martha Stewart; and George Calombaris of Master Chef Australia.

The Qatar-China 2016 Year of Culture was celebrated with a court, along with signature activities such as Dinner in the Sky by Qatar Airways, QIFF Live Cooking Theatre, High Tea by the Bay, InstaMarket, Health Court, Dinner on a Dhow and BBQ on the Bay. In line with its theme ‘A different side of food’, the festival focused on healthy-eating, especially as a means of preventing chronic illnesses and life-threatening heart conditions.

source: The Peninsula