Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA) hosted its first travel trade road show in Mumbai and New Delhi respectively. Seeing India’s importance as a source market, the delegation included Bahrain’s leading hotels, destination management companies and other tourism officials. Speaking to Express TravelWorld, Yousef Mohammed Alkhan, director of Tourism Marketing and Promotion, Bahrain Tourism & Exhibitions Authority said, “It is not difficult to promote Bahrain in India because both countries are so close in terms of distance, culture, food among other things. Bahrain offers thousands of years of history through its culture and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The people are very welcoming which is considered an important factor in international travel.”
He stated that BTEA is looking to promote Bahrain as a leisure destination apart from the main focus on weddings and MICE. Talking about the wedding segment, he stated, “It is a comparatively new area where we are only focusing on countries like Saudi Arabia and India. We have successfully hosted a few Indian weddings in the past year and already have bookings for next year. We believe we have a lot to offer for the India market where we shall extend full support of the departments, be it for immigration, customs, hotels, etc. Our goal is to get at least ten Indian weddings each year.”
“While we started with MICE and weddings promotions for the India market, we are keen to promote it as a family destination as we have a lot to offer in that segment. That is how we are promoting it in other countries and would like to do the same with the Indian market. The middle class in India has grown exponentially in the past 10 years and we plan to focus on their holiday plans apart from the luxury segment. We shall continue to grow the FIT segment next year,” he added.
BTEA will be mainly targeting the cities that have direct connections to Bahrain and using other social media tools to market the destination. While the city already has numerous hotels that can work for the India market, many high-end luxury properties are also coming up. Alkhan stated, “Wyndham just opened this month and many keep adding every month. Jumeirah will be opening a high end luxury property by the end of February next year. The property will feature only 80 high end villas catering to the segment.”