Arabian Travel Market To Be A Key Driver In Bahrain's Tourism Growth Strategy

Published March 23rd, 2010 - 11:00 GMT

Bahrain's Ministry of Culture & Information will once again be heading up a contingent of 20 exhibitors representing the country at this year's Arabian Travel Market, which takes place from 4th to 7th May in Dubai.

Speaking at a press conference in Manama, Dr. Heba Aziz, Executive Director and Adviser, Culture and Information Ministry said this year's show was being widely anticipated within the tourism industry as Arabian Travel Market – the Middle East’s largest premier travel & tourism event - is a key pillar in the State’s comprehensive national reform programme to make Bahrain a high-quality leisure and business tourism destination for the outbound markets of the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

“Attending exhibitions gives us the opportunity to introduce Bahrain to potential visitors as an inbound GCC tourist destination in its own right. Currently we have many visitors coming to Bahrain for one day only; we want to encourage them to stay longer and to explore all that this country has to offer. Last year’s Arabian Travel Market was a huge success and I have no doubt that this year will once again prove to give an invaluable boost to our aspirations."

Mark Walsh - Group Exhibitions Director of Reed Travel Exhibitions, which stages the international show – said that historically Bahrain has been a staunch supporter of the Arabian Travel Market and both the government and the private sector have for some time realised the potential it commands as a key business vehicle.

"Both the government and the private sector have for some time realised the potential the Arabian Travel Market commands as a key business vehicle and this year's event is likely to play an even greater role than ever before in helping us all to develop new ways of catering for an ever more demanding tourist.

"The Arabian Travel Market is specifically designed to ignite discussion and debate, and create networking opportunities as well as educate; and as always, we have invested considerable resources in attracting the right type of visitors to the show. This has been exemplified by the number of quality visitors, represented by a senior management demographic.

"The show has firmly established itself as the travel and tourism event for inbound and outbound tourism professionals within the Middle East, attracting industry and government decision-makers at the very highest level; and 2010 is shaping up to be the most important year in the event's 16 year history," Walsh continued.

"Trade visitors from Bahrain will have unrivalled possibilities to identify and pursue outbound and inbound offerings from across the globe."
Euromonitor statistics show that last year, Bahrain's outgoing tourist expenditure came to US$ 677 million whilst domestic tourism expenditure totalled only $17 million. Just over $1,746 million came in from incoming tourists.
Arabian Travel Market 2009 showed an increase of over five per cent of Travel Trade Professionals, compared with the previous year, and a 6.5 per cent increase in visitors. 146 Hosted Buyers from the premium leisure industry, the golf sector and from the meetings industry – up from 120 the previous year – were also in attendance.

"By attracting senior industry players from across the globe to meet with potential partners, our aim is to increase business interaction for all”, said Lucie James, Marketing Manager, Arabian Travel Market.    

Reed Travel Exhibitions has once again implemented a number of new initiatives for this year's Arabian Travel Market.

“We doubled the size of the show’s seminar programme, in which a wide range of industry experts come together in a panel format to share their knowledge and opinions with regard to specific topics. The line-up of discussion forums for 2010 so far include the aviation sector, which due to the success of last years seminar session will be hosted by aviation expert John Strickland, and the hotel collection, which will feature speakers from Shariah compliant hotels, eco hotels and all-inclusive hotels among others”, explains James. 
Also new for 2010, the Arabian Travel Market team has introduced a series of marketing seminars which have been designed to help companies market themselves effectively in the challenging economic climate still being faced by the industry. Giving a step by step guide, experienced marketers will explain the importance of Public Relations, social media and SMS marketing.
The Careers and Travel Agents Day will once again both be held on Thursday 6th May. Careers Day will provide onsite interviews and careers and training advice to help interested parties to plan their next career move and exhibitors the chance to find the right candidates.
Travel Agents’ day allows the region’s travel agents to take part in a series of educational seminars, prize give-aways and entertainment features, all designed to foster the latest top class travel and tourism education among travel agents.

Also new for 2010 will be a joint competition with Arabian Travel Market’s ground handler ‘The Vision’. Delegates who pre-register for the event – using a specific link on the dedicated web site – will get the chance to win four free nights' accommodation at the 5-star Hyatt Regency Dubai, the 5-star Hilton Jumeirah, the 5-star Dusit Thani Hotel Dubai and the 4-star Coral Deira hotels during this year’s Arabian Travel Market.

Finally, debuting at this year's Arabian Travel Market will be the staging of four “zones” where visitors can experience the culture of countries, as performers, artistes and artisans bring to life the colour and culture of worldwide destinations in the Culture Zone; take a break from busy meetings, sitting back in comfy bean bags in the Executive Break Zone; unwind with a massage from world class therapists in the Relaxation Zone or simply catch up on emails in the Internet Zone.
Signing up early to the online portal for Arabian Travel Market – which can be found at – will allow visitors to take advantage of extensive e-networking tools that will allow them to link up with the most relevant industry players to their business.

Arabian Travel Market is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and under the auspices of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Government of Dubai.

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