Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority has successfully conducted its first four-city roadshow in India. The event was conducted in the cities of Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi from September 12-16.
According to a press statement, the four-city roadshow witnessed the participation from hospitality, travel, and tourism companies from Bahrain in order to reconnect and build new connections with the Indian travel agents. The event was attended by 400 plus agents across the four cities, which aimed to connect Indian travel agents with destination management companies, hotels, and attractions in Bahrain.
“The purpose of the roadshow is to strengthen travel trade relationships in order to increase visitor arrivals from India to our beautiful Kingdom of Bahrain. India is one of the most important source markets for Bahrain and as such the Bahrain Tourism & Exhibitions Authority is confident that this initiative will further enable and enhance an expansion in the Indian Market,” says Maryam Toorani, Director of Marketing and Promotion at BTEA.
Participating in the roadshow were many other stakeholders of tourism from Bahrain like hotels, tour operators and of course the national carrier of Bahrain, Gulf Air. ‘‘This is the first roadshow that we are having post pandemic and it aims at promoting Bahrain as a tourist destination and we being the national carrier are here. We operate flights to eight cities in India and a new city has been added that is Goa, making it the 9th destination from India. The connectivity with India is back to pre-pandemic times and even the capacity and seat utilisation is same as we continue. In fact in Europe we have introduced two new destinations that is Rome and Milan this year,’’ Sapna Pilgaokar of Gulf Air tells India Outbound.
The prime focus of the roadshow was placed on achieving a notable number of visitors in the coming few years from varied segments such as leisure, MICE, and weddings.
The event began with the trade having one on one B2B meetings with the stakeholders. Following that the travel trade community was educated through a presentation on Bahrain as a destination for Indian travellers. The presentation highlighted that the country has something to offer to every type of traveller from millennials to young couples, from honeymooners to business travellers. One of the participants in the roadshow, Four Seasons Hotel, is ideally placed to welcome Indian visitors, says Divyam Johri, senior sales manager of the hotel. “What we are looking for is family travellers, honeymooners or anybody looking for experiential travel is our target customer. We have lots of options for best in world experiences, ranging from go karting and pearl diving and from shopping to just lying under the stars in the desert. But we are very, very strong in weddings and I think that families look for that uniqueness as they would want their guests to stay in the most exquisite properties,’’ Johri tells India Outbound.
He adds that the roadshow was vital for the hotel to grow its market as it covered not only the existing markets, but also the ones where the future incremental growth would come from. “Delhi and Mumbai remain principal feeder market for corporate, leisure and weddings, but we are also seeing a very strong number of travellers coming from Bengaluru and Chennai to visit families or friends as a big diaspora is from southern states. So even for these visitors, we offer staycations in addition to the stay with their families as we have private beach with a beach club and a water park for children to create complete holiday experiences. I see the non-metro cities to be the next game changers as we have seen weddings coming from tier 2 and 3 cities. In next roadshow we will also cover Ahmedabad and later on I hope they mount Lucknow and Kolkata, which are also seeing good numbers of travellers, who are not necessarily highly exposed to overseas destinations,’’ Johri tells India Outbound.
The roadshow gave a chance to highlight that Bahrain is the perfect holiday destination for Indian visitors with the convenient e-Visa process and the multiple direct flights which take you to Bahrain in less than 4 hours. Bahrain as a destination has a variety of offerings for its travelers from beautiful beaches, adventure activities, luxurious accommodation options, pearl diving, heritage, culture, and food. The destination is also home to the world-famous Formula One race.
The roadshow was also important for the local destination management companies like Farhat Tours & Transfers, who facilitate the Indian visitors. Athar Purkar, Country Manager of Farhat Tours says he expects good returns from the roadshow as the market is already growing.
“Market has been good as we have seen very good movements coming to Bahrain as a wedding destination and after the roadshow, we expect more business to come from India. We have been in the market since 2007 and grew it significantly up to the pandemic outbreak. Now, the recovery is on, but the numbers not yet near 2019 levels. In terms of clientele from India, besides destination weddings, we have FIT & MICE as well,’’ Purkar tells India Outbound.
At the roadshow, the #friendsofBahrain concept was introduced to the audience present. The concept behind this hashtag is that anyone who is associated with the destination, promotes it is a friend of Bahrain or as the Bahrain’s brand evangelists. The #friendsofBahrain hashtag will be used by the tourism board in all future communications, encouraging travellers, trade and influencers to use it to promote ours and yours one and only Bahrain!
Be it a fun-filled family getaway, active holidays, one-of-a-kind cultural experiences, opulent resorts, theme park, exotic islands, or world-class shopping excursions, Bahrain has something for everyone.