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Bahrain creates the perfect “BITE”

Written by editor

Undaunted by the crisis caused due to the global recession in the travel industry, Bahrain International Travel Expo BITE 2009 the first Business to Consumers (B2C) travel and tourism event in the reg

Undaunted by the crisis caused due to the global recession in the travel industry, Bahrain International Travel Expo BITE 2009 the first Business to Consumers (B2C) travel and tourism event in the region, is all set to open to their 5th successful year from May 14 – 16, 2009 under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa Crown Prince and chairman of the Bahrain Economic Development Board.

Magnum Events and Exhibitions Management (MEEM), the organizers of BITE admits that it’s hard to match the record number of exhibitors and quality-hosted buyers that the show received last year. But the show must go on, said Jamil Wafa, founder and group chairman, Magnum Holding, the parent company of MEEM.

“BITE is a commitment we have made to Bahrain and to the Crown Prince His Highness Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who supported the exhibition since its inception. We will continue with our promise and commitment despite the challenges,” said Wafa.

“Several leading regional and international companies are participating in a big way, and there is no compromise on the quality of the show,” added Wafa.

After all, BITE is a gathering of the right company, meeting the right people, at the right time. A place where great minds meet!

BITE offers the ideal forum for the coming together of reputed and international operators from a cross-section of travel-related businesses from airlines, car rental companies, conventions and exhibitions, cruise lines, health resorts and spas, hotel accommodation providers, medical tourism, MICE organizers, tourist attractions, tourism boards, tour operators, travel insurance, and travel and tourism publications to interact with around 20,000 consumers and international MICE buyers under one roof.

There are many cultural surprises and attractions planned for the BITE stage extravaganza. Numerous exhibitors from the world have prepared special activities including national dancers, singers, musicians, and performers as part of the cultural treat at this year’s show. Additionally, BITE 2009 is a great opportunity for travelers to discover a wide range of promotions and special deals that exhibitors have on offer for those consumers planning a vacation. BITE is the ideal place for visitors to obtain the latest information about the travel and tourism industry trends and book holiday packages customized to suit their specific budgets and needs.

In a bid to promote tourism to Bahrain, BITE is, for the fourth consecutive year, organizing the Hosted Buyers Program. This program runs from May 13 – 16, 2009 for key international MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) planners. All the professionals invited to the Hosted Buyers Program are responsible for planning, organizing, recommending, and making financial decisions for their international MICE events outside their home countries.

The comprehensive destination program includes one-on-one meetings between buyers and sellers at the travel show and a golden opportunity to showcase Bahrain’s renowned Arabian hospitality and delights. The Hosted Buyers will experience first-hand the excellent conference and hospitality facilities Bahrain has to offer, check out the facilities at the Bahrain International Circuit, the Royal Golf Club, and visit the various cultural and historical attractions in the kingdom. A number of Bahrain’s finest properties, such as The Ritz Carlton Bahrain Resort and Spa, The Banyan Tree, Coral Beach, Caramel Café, and Elite Resort & Spa, will be hosting the Hosted Buyers for lunches and dinners during their visit.

Tamkeen, along with Bahrain Training Institute (The Travel Academy), Bahrain Institute for Hospitality and Retail (BIRD), and Bahrain Development Bank will participate at BITE to highlight the role of the Labor Fund in supporting the private sector and the tourism industry in particular. Tamkeen are inviting small and medium enterprises in the travel and tourism sector to benefit from the Growth Assistance Program (GAP) by their co-financing scheme designed to support SMEs to be sustainable and increase the reach of their products and services by participating in BITE. Tamkeen will highlight career opportunities for Bahraini nationals as part of the Labor Fund’s endeavor of providing skilled human capital for value-added jobs.

A 35-member, high-profile delegation from Egypt, led by the Tourism Minister H.E. Mr. Zuhair Garana, will be participating at BITE 2009 to promote the country’s history and heritage.

BITE has grown over the past five years from a show in 2005 with 14 countries, 40 exhibitors, 1,100-sqm area, and 12,500 visitors to 44 countries, 120 exhibitors, 8,000 sqm of space, and 18,000 visitors in 2008. They expect to have around 100 exhibitors from approximately 40 countries to be part of BITE 2009 occupying an area of 6,500 sqm.

The Platinum Sponsors are Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) along with Etihad Airways. Qatar Airways, the Gold Sponsor, and Gulf Air are the official carriers. BITE is actively supported by the Ministry of Culture and Information, the Capital Governorate, and Bahrain Exhibition and Convention Authority. Elite Hospitality is the Official Hotel, Voice FM the Official Radio Channel, and Al Hilal Group the Media Partners.

Pictured at press conference launch (L to R): Abraham John, Executive Director, MEEM; Karim F Sherif, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt; Ahmed Ali Al Nawakda, Under Sectary, Bahrain Tourism; Jamil A Wafa, Founder & Group Chairman, Magnum Holdings; Abdulellah Ebrahim Al Qassimi, Chief Executive, Tamkeen; Hisham Al Baradie, Chairman, MEEM; and Debbie Stanford-Kristiansen, Deputy Chief Executive, BECA.