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Bahrain to hold first ME cruise forum

Manama, April 22, 2010

Bahrain will host senior executives from major cruise lines to discuss the ways in which cruise tourism can be maximised in the region at the first Middle East Cruise Forum.

Taking place from May 10 to 12 at Al Areen Palace and Spa, the conference will cover a range of topics, with a number of high-level speakers providing distinctive knowledge and experience from the industry.

With the total spend of a 2,000 passenger ship averaging $274,165 per port of call, as discovered through research conducted by Tony Peisley and Seatrade, cruise tourism is of huge economic benefit to Bahrain and the region as a whole.

The benefit of a cruise ship home porting is even greater with total spend of a 2,000 passenger ship averaging $322,705 per turnaround.

The conference will cover four main themes, leading with ‘The growing momentum for cruise tourism in the region’, which will discuss the growth of the Gulf as a cruise destination, the importance of cruise tourism and factors that can influence cruise liners in their choice of destination.

The ‘Ports, terminals and destinations’ session will discuss what factors makes a successful port of call, an update on regional port and terminal development as well as looking at infrastructure, operational issues and the role of agents, handlers and operators.  ‘Shore excursions’ will give delegates the opportunity to discuss the importance of excursions and the most effective way to plan an itinerary.

The final ‘Marketing’ session will focus on how the region can effectively market itself as a cruise destination, working with other ports and the great importance of forming a regional cruise association.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the cruise industry to come together to discuss the growing importance of cruise tourism on the economy and the ways in which it can be maximised,” said Hassan Ali Al Majed, director general of the General of the Organisation of Sea Ports (GOP).

“The General Organisation of Sea Ports has developed a state of the art port at Khalifa Bin Salman Port and cruise tourism is an increasingly important part of this, which is why when we developed the concept for the port, we made sure to include a dedicated passenger terminal and cruise-ship berth,” he added.

“As a partner for the Middle East Cruise Forum conference, GOP is confident that this is an ideal platform to unify the industry and share best practise, and create a regional cruise association.”

Dr Heba Aziz, executive director of the tourism sector at the Ministry of Culture & Information, said: “Cruise tourism is already an affluent industry for Bahrain; the Middle East Cruise Forum will enable Bahrain’s cultural and leisure focused companies to get close to cruise lines and showcase the benefits and facilities on offer to tourists in Bahrain, as well as participating in important debates about the future developments of cruise tourism in the region.” – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Seatrade | Ports | GOP | Middle East Cruise Forum | cruise tourism |

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