Gulf Air playing active role in promoting regional tourism


Gulf Air is committed to promoting the growing MICE market in the region, says an airline spokesperson.

The airline, which is the official carrier for this month's AIBTM, the premier trade show for Arab meetings and incentives sector, says it is taking an active role in promoting the industry in the face of increasingly stiff competition from other parts of the world.

"Gulf Air has acted as official carrier for several MICE events in the past year and we will support every opportunity to continue in what is fast becoming an important developing market," said the spokesperson.

"The region has fair weather for all but the peak summer months and is only 6-7 hours from Europe, where many MICE events originate. But competition in this field is intensive with Latin America, Africa and the Far East all fighting for events. We have to take an active role in promoting the MICE sector."

The airline said that as the national carrier of four states concerned with the show, it had a role to play to enhance and promote the countries as business and leisure destinations.

It said that as part of those efforts, it was offering special fares for all participants and attendees.

The airline also said that business in the Gulf and Middle East was turning around after the setbacks seen following the September 11 terror attacks in the US.

"Both leisure and business traffic are up. As we enter a major holiday season, with Eid, Christmas and New Year drawing passengers back, we are experiencing a very busy time," said the spokesperson.

Gulf Air is also running special promotions to attract travellers back into the air including a free intra-Gulf ticket for long-haul passengers.

The airline also said its recent efforts to improve services had begun paying off with passenger satisfaction rising - 117 letters of compliments during October compared to just 44 in the same month last year. Complaints too were down, from 1,085 last October to 290 in October 2001.

It said its on-time performance had also improved.

"Our on-time performance for October was 73 per cent compared with 65 per cent last year and departures within 15 minutes rose to 88 per cent from 82 per cent," the spokesperson said.