In Brief

A Chinese tourist in Scotland

BITTM announces 2007 dates
THE Beijing International Travel and Tourism Market (BITTM), the only business-to-business event dedicated to outbound travel and tourism in China, has today announced the dates and venue for 2007.

The third annual BITTM event will take place from May 14 to 16 at the China World Trade Center in Beijing. The show has today also announced the appointment of a leading global travel industry expert, Matt Thompson, who will head up BITTM as project director.  The 2006 edition of the show saw 2541 trade visitors and 124 exhibiting companies.  The World Tourism Organization predicts that China is becoming the fourth most important outbound travel market. With 31 million departures in 2005 and a predicted 100 million in 2020, travel and tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in China. BITTM is organized by Tarsus Group plc, the international media group with interests in exhibitions, conferences, publishing and online media.

Oman airport traffic up
PASSENGER and cargo traffic at the Seeb International Airport increased 27.3 per cent and 31.4 per cent respectively during the first seven months of the year, compared to the same period last year. The number of passengers increased to 2,737,095 during the period from 2,149,557 passengers for the same period last year, said an official from Oman Airports Management Company. The number of passengers at Salalah International Airport increased by 22.9 per cent to 167,674 from 136,408 passengers.

Petra Travel offers 24-hour call centre
Petra Travel & Tourism Company has launched a 24-hour call centre, a first-of-its-kind service in Jordan. “Our team of friendly experts and a highly-skilled professionals, backed by state-of-the-art technology, will answer travellers’ calls and offer assistance on all their journeys. Our various services span from offering advise on the best routes and methods of travel to providing customers with various ticketing options, offering ticketing reservation services as well as issuance on all airlines. In addition to that, the centre’s agents are ready to provide enquirers with information on various popular attractions as well as receive requests for local tours and worldwide holiday packages,” said a spokesman.

Alamo, Virgin in joint offer
IN a joint promotion, Virgin Atlantic and car rental firm Alamo are offering economy class passengers to London a special deal that allows them to book their flights to London and their local car rental requirements in one simple step at value for money prices. The offer is available to all economy passengers from Dh2890 ($787) when booking flights to London. The fares depend on the category of car and number of car hire days. All fares are commissionable.

Baucon Yapex set for November
THE 14th International Baucon Yapex Exhibition, will take place from November 2 to 5 in Antalya, the tourism capital of Turkey. Organized annually by Akdeniz Tanitim in collaboration with the German exhibitions group Messe München, Baucon Yapex has become a decision place for many tourism investors, pointing a growing emphasis of the fair in the market. Tourism investors will come together with over 300 building materials companies to make decisions about the latest materials and technologies to be used in tourism investments. Last year saw over 25,000 visitors at the event.

Oman to focus on water tourism
OMAN is planning to put more efforts to develop water tourism in the Sultanate with the focus on Dhofar region. A seminar on water tourism was held at the Directorate General of Heritage and Culture in Dhofar Governorate recently, said an Oman News Agency report. Salim bin Faraj Abdoon, director-general of the directorate-general of environment and water resources in Dhofar Governorate, said the seminar was continuation of the efforts being exerted by the ministry to develop, manage and preserve water resources and to create water awareness among the people.

Oasis runs largest Chevvy rental fleet
WITH over 450 Chevrolet vehicles, Doha based Oasis Rent A Car now operates the largest fleet of Chevrolet cars in the city, with the iconic brand accounting for over 60 per cent of the rental agency’s offering. Since Oasis Rent A Car purchased its first batch of Chevrolet cars in 2004, the two companies have worked together to create a fleet that is one of the most extensive in Qatar, with 100 Aveos, 150 Optras, 20 Luminas, 20 Caprice, 40 Tahoe and 110 TrailBlazers providing the cornerstone of Oasis Rent A Car’s 800-strong fleet.

New arrival hall at Sharjah Airport
SHARJAH International Airport has opened a new arrival hall. The first flight to come through was Air Arabia ABY G9 122 from Kuwait, passengers of which were welcomed by airport’s staff with red roses. The Arrival Hall space is increased from 90 square meters to 500 square meters and is one phase of Sharjah International Airport Expansion project which once completed will accommodate 8 million passengers annually.

Dufry in Sharjah promotion
DUFRY has launched a promotion for its customers at its outlet in Sharjah International Airport in collaboration with low-fares carrier, Air Arabia. Passengers spending Dh200 ($54) at the Dufry outlet get a chance to win two return flights to any Air Arabia destination every month through to October. Air Arabia now flies to 27 great destinations in 17 countries, giving this draw an irresistible lure.