BITE 2007 to be up 50pc
EXHIBITION space will be increased by 50 per cent at next year’s Bahrain International Travel Expo, Bite 2006, said Jamil Wafa, chairman of Magnum Holdings, the parent company of Magnum Exhibitions & Events Management (MEEM), which organised BITE.
He also revealed that Arab Tourism Channel (ATC), the official television channel for BITE 2006, would soon start relaying out of Bahrain. “We are planning to move the channel’s headquarters from Dubai to Bahrain,” said Wafa. “BITE was useful for ATC, as the expo provided the gateway to introduce the new channel to the region.”
Seventy-seven exhibitors representing 25 countries attended BITE 2006. “The number will be increased substantially next year,” Wafa said. “This year’s show was held at an exhibition space of 4,000sqm. It will be increased to 6,000sqm.”
Qatar Airways was one of the leading participants this year. “The airline's chief executive Akbar Al Baker, who attended the opening ceremony, has expressed his keenness to double the space of their stand at BITE 2007,” said Wafa.
The exhibitors were tour operators, airlines, travel agencies and tourism boards. “There was an excellent turn out of consumers and exhibitors believe that almost 70 per cent of the visitors are serious holiday-seekers,” said Wafa. “Sitting in one destination, the customer was able to plan his holidays. Hosted buyers (brought in as guest of the organisers) were provided rich experience of Bahrain and its infrastructural facilities to attract MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) tourism into the island.”
Kanoo Travels managing director Nabeel Kanoo said he was truly delighted at the excellent response from consumers. The meetings with hosted buyers were also useful, he noted. A Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) spokesman said the hosted buyers were keen on the BIC products. A spokesman for Cathay Pacific said the airline was offering 15 per cent discount on packages only during BITE and the response was encouraging.
Meanwhile, a group of Indian tour operators pledged to promote Bahrain as a destination, particularly for MICE business.
The pledge was given by Holiday World director K Vijay Mohan, Hi Tours vice-president Dr M K Ajit Kumar, Faraway Places managing director Arvind Tandon and Jagsons Travels’ Harmandeep Singh Anand. They held talks with delegates from around the world at Bahrain International Travel Expo, BITE 2006 at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre. They also toured Bahrain's leading tourism landmarks such as Bahrain International Circuit and Al Areen Development.