BITE 2007 to attract over 20,000 global visitors


The third edition of the annual Bahrain International Travel Expo (BITE 2007) expects some 20,000 visitors from around the world, according to organisers Magnum Events and Exhibitions Management (MEEM).

Being held under the auspices of HH Shaikh Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Commander-in-Chief of the Bahrain Defence Force, the event runs from May 8 to 10.
“Through BITE, we aim to continue bringing the providers of holiday related services and clients exploring value for money offers under one roof. BITE serves as an effective catalyst to strengthen the rapidly growing tourism industry in Bahrain and the overall region by offering innovative ideas and exciting destinations to existing clients, while endeavouring to develop a host of new clientele. BITE 2007 will showcase current travel trends, project new emerging destinations around the world and share significant travel and tourism landmarks amongst other industry developments,” said Jamil A Wafa, group chairman, Magnum Holdings, which is the parent company of MEEM.
New participants at this year’s event come from Austria, Azerbaijan, Canada, Greece, Kashmir, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Monaco, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, The Netherlands, Tunisia and the USA. apart from Australia, Bahrain, Brunei, China, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Qatar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, the UAE and the UK.
"BITE is a gathering of the right company, meeting the right people at the right time and a place where great minds meet,” Wafa added.
BITE offers an ideal platform for exhibitors across the entire spectrum of the travel industry related services towards displaying and promoting their products and services. These include airlines, car rental companies, cruise lines, health resorts & spas, hotel & accommodation providers, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) organisers, medical tourism, tourist attractions, tourism boards and tour operators. The visitors will comprise of individuals, families, business travel organisers, corporate clients, group travel organisers, inbound tour operators, MICE operators, retail travel agents and outbound tour operators.
One of the key highlights of the show will be a Study Abroad segment. This novel initiative aims to offer an opportunity for students from Bahrain and the region to explore various career options for their future education.
Hisham Al-Baradie, chairman, MEEM, said, “We are truly excited about BITE 2007, a unique and pioneering annual Business-to-Consumer event, considering the response we have received in the last two years which was extremely positive. BITE 2006 witnessed a participation of 81 companies from 27 countries and a turn out of 16,800 visitors. This year we are expecting to record over 20,000 regional and global visitors from 38 countries.
“Based on last year's success and for the second year, we will be once again hosting a programme for 90 key International MICE buyers and leading international travel publications. To cater for these higher numbers of participants and expected visitors we have increased the gross exhibition area to 6,500 sqm as opposed to last years 4,900 sqm. BITE offers the perfect launch platform to showcase novel products and promotion / introduction of new services.”
Bahrain's tourism sector has been buoyed by a number of positive developments in recent years, highlighting the Kingdom's growing promise as a travel destination due to the richness in its history and heritage, well established infrastructure, the Bahraini people's warmth and hospitality, the Gulf Air's Formula 1 Circuit amongst others. A recent report revealed that Bahrain has emerged as one of the fastest growing destinations for MICE tourism in the region with more than 50 per cent of events held in the Kingdom attracting international interest.
The event is supported by the Bahrain Economic Development Board; Ministry of Information – Tourism Affairs; National Carrier Gulf Air; Bahrain Exhibition and Convention Authority and the Board of the Five Star Hotel Owners. Other sponsors and supporters include the Ahli United Bank, Batelco, Sabre Travel Network, Qatar Airways, Elite Luxury Apartments & Hotel Group, Bahrain Limo, Al Hilal Group and the ATC TV channel.

(BITE 2007 runs from 4pm to 9pm on May 8, and from 10am to 12.30pm and 4pm to 9pm on May 9 and 10. It is being held at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre. Admission is free with daily raffle draws).