Spotlight on Bahrain's attractions

The Arad Fort is one of the many sites of historical significance that dot Bahrain

Bahrain's tourist attractions will be spotlighted at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Tourism Affairs and several leading hotels will be at the event to promote the country.

The Bahrain pavilion will this year occupy 95 sq m of exhibition space, which is 40 per cent larger than last year, said event organiser and Reed Travel Exhibition (RTE) overseas events group exhibitions director Matt Thompson, during a visit to Bahrain.

The increase reflects Bahrain's increasing stature as an international tourist destination, a standing borne out by the fact that the country saw an 8.6 per cent increase in the number of tourists and leisure visitors last year.

The ATM will take up a total of 8,000 sq m of floor space, an increase of 900 sq m compared to last year.

The show's growth was prompted by a rise in the space taken by regular exhibitors and the entry of new ones.

RTE is expecting the show to receive its biggest ever turnout of trade visitors from Bahrain.

"Last year 113 travel trade professionals from Bahrain visited the show and we are looking to increase that figure by 10 per cent this year," said RTE overseas events marketing manager Lindsey Kavanagh.

Exhibitors will be able to meet 50 of the world's top meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (Mice) buyers and 20 of Saudi Arabia's key travel buyers by appointment.

Feedback from participants last year showed that 84 per cent of the participants felt the Mice sector was crucial to them.

Bahrain was also spotlighted at the Sixth Arabian Travel Market Conference, to be held at the Al Bustan Hotel in Muscat, Oman, from April 28 to 30.

This year's conference focused on the possibilities of marketing the Arabian Gulf as a single tourism destination.