The annual Arabian Travel Market roadshow, arrives in Kuwait on Monday at the JW Marriott Hotel, bringing together key industry players, to discuss marketing opportunities to showcase Kuwait’s tourism ambitions.
Kuwait is raising awareness of its tourism-related developments at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM), where exhibitors will include the Kuwait Ministry of Commerce and Tourism, Kuwait Airways and Al-Marwa Haj & Umrah Services, which has increased the size of its stand at this year’s show.
“The Kuwait government recognises the potential of the tourism sector and has set a target of one million tourists annually by 2015 and is committing the necessary investment dollars to develop its five-year plan for the travel and tourism sector,” said Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
Funds earmarked for transport infrastructure alone total around US$13 billion according to Kuwait government officials, with the Kuwait Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) spearheading the upgrade of existing facilities at Kuwait International Airport plus the construction of a new terminal, boosting capacity from the current six million passengers per year to 13 million by 2016.
To cater to this influx, tourism development specialists such as Kuwait Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) are launching a number of tourism, entertainment and sports projects to the tune of US$ 460 million, the state-owned firm’s Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Khaled Al Ghanim, recently revealed.
With leisure tourists in mind, Kuwait’s Partnership Technical Bureau has declared the development of resorts, recreational facilities and a marina on Failaka Island as top priority projects.
These will be complemented by a raft of new hotels, focusing on the luxury sector, with 10,000 new rooms expected to come online by 2015 – an increase in supply of almost one third, according to the Kuwait Hotel Owners Association (KHOA).
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has four properties planned for Kuwait and Millennium and Copthorne recently signed a deal to manage the new 307-room Millennium Hotel and Convention Centre in Kuwait City, while Kuwait Municipality also has unveiled plans to develop an array of luxury properties.
Kuwait is one of the six Middle East destinations being visited by the ATM team during its week-long roadshow which takes in Bahrain, Lebanon, Oman, Doha and UAE.
Current and potential exhibitors visited during the roadshow will learn about new event features including the introduction of an annual theme, with 2014 shining the spotlight on the luxury travel sector. The seminar programme in particular will focus on this important theme, which is particularly relevant to Dubai and the rest of the Gulf region.
The popular ATM seminars return covering travel technology and other key industry issues such as luxury travel trends, aviation, Expo 2020, CSR and mid-scale hotels. Also returning are the visitor trails, helping visitors identify the specific travel sectors on the show floor including: shopping, career, budget, health and wellness, air and water travel.
New this year is a showcase theatre, which offers exhibitors the opportunity to present their products and services in one hour sessions and the ATM Live Wall, which will broadcast live streaming of interviews, panel debates and other show highlights.
Expanding into an additional exhibition hall, Arabian Travel Market 2014 will take place from the 5-8 May at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre. Last year, ATM welcomed over 21,000 visitors from 165 countries, covering 22,000 square metres of floor space.