No backpackers in Qatar

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… because they ‘just lie on the beach and don’t spend money’.  Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker is not a fan of backpackers

The boss of Qatar Airways is making it clear that backpackers were not welcome there.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said backpackers were not wanted in Qatar and that it should be up to governments to decide what kind of tourists they wanted to attract to their countries.

Al Baker explained that unlike near neighbours Dubai they did not want backpackers – many of which come from Australia each year – in Qatar as it would give the country a bad look.‘We want to attract people of a higher standard,’ said Mr 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.’Thousands of Australian backpackers visit the Middle East yearly, and starting May 3, Qatar Airways commenced new services to and from Adelaide to Doha by flying the first A350 into Australia.

Daily flights will arrive from Doha at 4.25pm and depart at 9.30pm. Qatar already flies from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth but uses larger Boeing 777s on those routes.The A350 is a faster and more efficient aircraft as a result of its tapered wing. It is also economically designed for space with an extra wide cabin and high ceilings.It’s more bad news for backpackers who are in Australia set to get hit in the pocket under a new government ‘backpacker tax’.The new tax will mean travellers on working holiday visas will have to pay 32.5 cents in every dollar they earn.

At the moment backpackers can earn up to $18,000 tax-free and then pay 19 cents in the dollar.However, during his budget speech Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison suggested he may delay the tax which is due to come about on July 1.


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