Kuwait is beginning to forge an entry into the tourism sector.
However with many tourist friendly Middle Eastern states to compete with, innovative ideas, adventure and luxury seem to be the only way to go. This was the idea with which Prime One – Destinations Management Company & Holiday, launched a passenger cruise liner. Song of flower was launched in November last year, driven by the spirit of adventure in the Arabian Gulf, in collaboration with the Kuwait Port’s Authority, Gulf Link Transport Company and Touristic Enterprises. The next step is to launch many more such passenger liners in the future and develop a market for the same in Kuwait, said a spokesperson.
Prime One started as a spark of an idea by the Al-Qabandi International Group. The group itself came into existence in December 2005. The aim was to promote tourism in Kuwait and to highlight the facilities that were on offer. The company has offices in the Gulf and Africa and specialises in bringing tourists, business or individual, from Europe, Japan, South Korea, USA, Asia, Middle East and Australia into Kuwait.
Under the management of Eddie Fernandes, director, Prime One, now the company has experienced and professional management team assisted by dedicated team of sales and marketing staff, field representatives, multi-lingual tour guides, tour consultants and support staff. Their specialists find unique, high-quality places to stay, things to see, and ways to make your holiday or business trip more fun and exciting during your stay in Kuwait.
“Kuwait has always been considered as the doorway to the Gulf. In terms of business and leisure travellers, the number of visas being issued to foreigners has increased by 25 per cent since 2005. This according to National Aviation Services (NAS) at the Kuwait International Airport,” said Sirish Ramkumar, CEO, Al-Qabandi International Group.
Thirty-four countries get visas on arrival and the E-Visa facility has been installed by the Kuwaiti government in most of the hotels in Kuwait.
Acknowledging that in spite of Kuwait being a value-for-money-destination, the awareness for the leisure market is low, Fernandes said, “The awareness of Kuwait as a leisure market has just started picking up. By focusing on points of interest for foreign consumers and tour operators, Prime One has joined hands with non-governmental companies to speed up the process in terms of marketing strategies and publicity to foreign consumers, travel agents and tour operators both locally and internationally.”
To attract the tourists and give the best of what Kuwait can offer, renovation and revamping of original properties is the obvious solution. Fernandes pointed out that almost 70 per cent of the hotels have redesigned and revamped their properties. “There has been a great increase in building new branded hotels, suites and furnished apartments which will cater to the budget client. At this point in time, they are only providing five-star services. Kuwait in its course of time will soon be recognized as one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the Gulf. Our mission is to make this happen.”
Tourism in the Middle East is growing by leaps and bounds and the growth has touched the market in Kuwait as well. Global visitors to the country are growing by the day. Agreeing with this assessment Fernandes said, “The state sees the potential in the growth of the sector and has started to market itself aggressively. The importance of culture and heritage has always been there in Kuwait and now our company is harnessing this market with stopover packages with lots of events to come in the near future.”
by Sonorita Chauhan
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