Incoming chair for the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau
I've had the good fortune of being asked to make the inaugural journey from Doha nonstop to Miami on Qatar Airways and it is quite an interesting opportunity to live through.
As you can imagine, the Middle East, first of all, is an interesting area in terms of the wealth and the growth and the explosion in population and the traveling population out of the Middle East.
For Miami and South Florida this is a unique opportunity to engage people that may not have experienced South Florida, ever, and it is an entirely new opportunity for an airline that will deliver 300-400 passengers per day every day during their service. The hotels will be effected. The local economy will get an injection of interest from all the new visitors we get.
Doha being a hub for Qatar Airways, they will serve this entire region very efficiently because people coming in from Pakistan, from India, from China and other parts can connect through Doha and have direct service to Miami. So it gives us an opportunity to not only meet a lot of new travelers, but also there is cargo involved and there is other ways it will impact communities south of us.
Miami on the "bucket list" -- The Doha connection
It is a tremendous opportunity for a destination to have an inaugural flight from such an important region in the world.
Miami is now considered probably one of the great destinations in the world, if not the hottest destination in the world in terms of perception. As a result of that, you mention the name Miami people want to experience it.
I've traveled around China and Miami is on everybody's bucket list.
Miami touches Europe, all of South America, obviously it's, it's an epicenter for many, many different countries, but the fact that we can open our doors more easily to the traveling public out of China, India and Pakistan is an incredible opportunity.
With the new traveling public from China and India it gives Miami an enormous new audience and we would like to see them all come and experience South Florida.
I believe this will invite and create more competition from other airlines in the region to come to Florida.
Miami has always been considered very diverse and incredibly interesting community, but the composition of it has been European and I would say Latin and South American.
What this does is it really opens up, as a gateway, to the Middle East and Asia. Once they understand the benefits and the possibilities of coming to Florida they will become that much more curious about coming to Florida.
It starts as tourism, but once people recognize the opportunities for growth and another emerging city, that being Miami, and all the Arts and culture and finance and trade that we have going throughout our region of the world, including Latin America, this opens up doors for investment beyond our imagination at this point.
America has a lot to offer and people from the Middle East are fascinated by the west.
All the folks from Qatar Airways, they believe that this is also a new horizon for them. It gives them greater access to all of our connecting points, the Caribbean, South America and beyond, so I think for the them it's also a good opportunity to find great new business situations.
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