Backpacking, especially for the millennials, is a fun adventure. It is a low-cost, independent way of traveling that has always been popular among youth. With summer holidays just around the corner, millions of people from all across the world are bound to take a trip to far off regions.
The tourism industry thrives on such travelers. However, the chief executive of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, may have just hurt his country’s booming tourism business by showing his disregard for backpackers. In fact, he made it pretty clear that backpackers are not welcome in his country, according to The Daily Telegraph.
“We want to attract people of a higher standard,” said Al Baker. “We like to attract all kinds of tourists as long as they are there for relaxing times, want a unique experience, want to see the culture and are very keen on the arts side of tourism. Normally the backpackers are just there to lie on the beach and spend as little as possible.”
The airlines boss also made it clear that they would never advertise their country like their near neighbor United Arab Emirates, which is an extremely popular vacation spot all throughout the year, because they want to attract a certain kind of crowd.
“Each country has its own vision and plans, and each country is also free to attract the kind of people they want,” he added.
Al Baker’s remarks came right after Qatar Airways commenced new services to and from Adelaide, Australia, to the capital city of Doha. Interestingly, it appears his comments were in support of the Australian government’s newly introduced, though extremely unpopular, backpacker tax.
As for the tourism industry in Qatar, well, it appears to be flourishing. As the Doha News reports, approximately 822,626 people entered the country during the first three months of this year.