MORE than 20,000 visitors attended the fourth Bahrain International Travel Expo 2008 (BITE) last month. MEEM (Magnum Events & Exhibitions Management) organisers claimed the show held at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre was a great success, and recorded a particularly strong weekend crowd.
BITE was held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and chairman of the Economic Development Board and was inaugurated by HE Jehad Bin Hassan Bu Kamal, Minister of Information.
Jamil Wafa, group chairman of Magnum Holdings (MEEM’s parent company), said, “I am very delighted with the response received from the exhibitors as well as the visitors. Exhibitors are excited and thrilled with the consumer’s participation. In fact, some of them have already booked for the fifth edition, to be held from 14 to16 May 2009 by doubling their space. Approximately 30 to 35 per cent of the BITE 2009 exhibition space has already been reserved.”
Commenting on transactions conducted at BITE, Wafa said, “First time participant Etihad Airways, managed to get a lot of on the spot bookings for different destinations, thanks to the upcoming holiday season, and we look forward to their participation next year. Similarly, Gulf Air, who had allotted certain number of tickets exclusively for BITE, sold out completely, while Delta Airways did extremely well.
“I was surprised and very happy to see the first time participant Jet Airways stand always crowded. I am sure everybody, that is, the exhibitors and the consumers, profited from this expo in terms of exposure and transactions undertaken.”
BITE is the first business-to-consumer travel and tourism event in the region. The aim of the event was to showcase current travel trends, projects, and new emerging destinations around the world.
First time participating countries in BITE 2008 included United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi), Czech Republic, Denmark, Ethiopia, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Morocco, Oman, Spain, Tunisia and Sweden. Previous participants returning to BITE 2008 were Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Brunei, China, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.
BITE is an annual event, currently in its fourth consecutive year, took place), and is the brainchild of Magnum Events and Exhibitions Management (MEEM).
A total of 120 exhibitors, 110 hosted buyers and international media from 44 countries participated at BITE 2008.