Bahrain optimistic about BITE travel show

BITE’s hosted buyers at the Royal Golf Club

DESPITE the current economic climate and the swine flu situation the Bahrain International Travel Expo 2009 (BITE) saw around 13,000 visitors during the three days of the show.
Held at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre, this was the fifth year of the exposition. Jamil Wafa, founder and chairman of Magnum Holdings, the parent company of Magnum Events and Exhibitions Management (MEEM), the organisation behind BITE, was happy with the event and of the positive response it drew from visitors, participants, hosted buyers and media.
Many international tourism boards who had just exhibited were keen to return next year with bigger stalls and offer cultural shows representing their own heritage.
Wafa said, “BITE is not only an important international annual event for the global travel industry, but also for international MICE organisations and consumers who find great value in the many exciting packages and deals offered at the Expo.”
“BITE has definitely put Bahrain on the world map and on the annual itinerary for the travel industry,” he said.
A total of 55 meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions buyers, corporate event managers and travel writers were flown in for the annual expo. As part of the programme, the hosted buyers visited the BIC’s Sakhir circuit to sample retail and corporate packages available, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Formula One facility.
At the Royal Golf Club the hosted buyers experienced workshops and demonstrations at the Royal Golf Academy’s driving range and the Montgomerie Championship Course. They also had the opportunity of flying on the Gulf Air simulator.
Dance performances came from Ludica Antiqua, an entertainment company from Genoa in Italy, while other dancers from the state of Azerbaijan demonstrated their traditional moves and costumes.
Qatar Airways introduced its new destinations of the USA, Australia, and India, and Etihad Airways’ first and business class seat products drew much interest.
Next year’s BITE will be held on May 13 and 15 at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre.
Sponsors of the event were Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Ministry of Culture and Information – Tourism Affairs, Bahrain Exhibition & Convention Authorities, Capital Governorate, Al Hilal Group, Akhbar Al Khaleej, Elite Hospitality, Voice FM, Bahrain Limo and Gulf Air.