In Brief


12,000 visitors forecast
The 13th edition of Horeca, one of the leading annual hospitality forums in the Middle East scheduled to take place at BIEL from March 21 to 24, 2006, is expected to attract more than 12,000 visitors. 

Horeca 2006 is set to be a significant catalyst in jumpstarting a promising hospitality season for this year in Lebanon. Despite the country’s political scenario, steady indicators reveal that the Middle East market, including Lebanon, encompasses 237 consumers whose GNP exceeds $1.4 trillion.

BITTM attracts key exhibitors
The past month has seen an enormous interest in BITTM, the Beijing International Travel and Tourism Market, the trade only event targeting the Chinese outbound travel and tourism sector, scheduled for April 3-5, 2006. Recent registrations include the Malta, Bulgaria and Tunisian tourist boards, Air Mauritius, and Visit Florida. Karen Taylor, project director of BITMM said “China’s outbound numbers are providing an exciting and unique opportunity for the global travel and tourism industry. BITTM is the perfect opportunity for destinations and tourism products to claim their share of this enormous market.”

Iran offers arrival visas
Iran will issue foreign tourists, including US passport holders, a 15-day visit visa on arrival in the Islamic republic, a government official told AFP. Visas can then be extended for a further 15 days. It is valid for all nationalities, except Israelis, which the regime does not recognise.

Hosted buyers budgets at $1.7m
Hosted buyer registrations for Premium Travel 2006 are already 150 per cent up on the same time last year. Research conducted on the show’s website among those registering for a place reveals that 59 per cent of individuals handle travel budgets in excess of $1.7 million and 19 per cent look after at least half that amount. Buyers from the UK, continental Europe, the Middle East, China, India, Russia and the USA have already confirmed their attendance. Premium Travel takes place at London’s Royal Albert Hall on April 27 and 28 and is the UK’s only dedicated business forum for the luxury end of the travel industry. Over two days more than 10,000 appointments between both UK and overseas buyers and the top international travel brands will take place. Exhibiting companies have increased by over 100 per cent.

Donald Trump Jr for AHIC
Donald Trump Jr, vice-president of development and acquisitions for The Trump Organisation, has confirmed his participation at the second Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, to be held from April 29 to May 1 at the Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Trump Jr will debate investment and development in Arabia with Kingdom Hotel Investments’ Sarmad Zok and Richard Stockton, Morgan Stanley’s head of Middle East real estate and lodging investment banking. According to recent estimates, there is currently $45 billion in real estate under construction in Dubai, with another $45 billion in the development stages.

Health care centre targets women
A dedicated medical, healthcare and wellness facility for women only, eléva, is set to open at the Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC). It will be the first of its kind in the region and will house leading medical and wellbeing practitioners from around the world. Eléva’s unique concept will provide an exclusive, luxurious and discreet healing environment that will expand beyond the realm of conventional treatments. It will focus on all aspects of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine and healthcare, thus ensuring all general and specialist healthcare and wellness needs of women are met under one roof.