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Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum 2010

Bahrain to host first Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum

Mar 10, 2010

In May 2010 Bahrain will play host to senior executives from major cruise lines at the first Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum.

The Middle East has huge potential for cruise tourism. With more international and luxury brands deploying ships in the region passenger numbers are due to rise sharply at all major ports of call.

The Seatrade Middle East Cruise forum will take place in Bahrain, 10-12 May 2010. The Kingdom of Bahrain’s Ministry of Culture & Information will host senior executives responsible for itinerary planning from the international and luxury cruise lines. To date, key executives from Carnival, Costa, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line, Seabourn, Silversea and TUI are participating in the Forum.

In a highly intensive programme of events cruise line executives will experience what Bahrain has to offer as a cruise destination through a day of shore excursions. Following the familiarisation programme regional stakeholders will have the opportunity to hear from and network with the cruise line executives in a full day’s conference programme and Gala Dinner. The programme will end with a half-day workshop and series of pre-scheduled meetings between Middle East destinations and the cruise lines.

According to Dr Heba Aziz, executive director at the tourism sector of the Ministry of Culture & Information “Cruise Tourism is a key sector for the Kingdom. We are already receiving thousands of visitors weekly for boutique tours that take in key attractions in half and full day tours, including cultural and leisure highlights. The Cruise Forum will allow us to showcase Bahrain to the major cruise lines and involve all the industry in discussions on developing cruise tourism across the region.”

Cruise tourism offers huge economic benefit to Bahrain and the region. Research conducted by Tony Peisley & Seatrade found the total spend from a 2,000 passenger ship is US$274,165 per port of call.

Seatrade Chairman Chris Hayman commented, “Bahrain is the ideal destination to host the first Middle East Cruise Forum. The tourism authority is already bringing together hotels, the port, tour operators, agents, airport and customs to ensure a smooth stop for cruise lines. The Cruise Forum will be the ideal opportunity for these stakeholders to meet the executives responsible for itinerary planning and hear from them what makes a first class port of call as well as homeport.”

Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas - which has a capacity of 2,500 passengers - called at Bahrain for the first time in January. Costa’s Luminosa cruise ship also made its maiden visit to Bahrain this season and was followed by their latest addition Costa Deliziosa.

Although a first for the Middle East, Seatrade has organised hugely successful cruise forums in worldwide destinations such as Argentina, Greece, Japan, Malta and Singapore.

Bahrain to host first Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum
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