GIBTM 2013 road show series heads to Doha - Gulf state’s massive investment in transportation and infrastructure designed to position Qatar as regional hub for global congress and conference circuit
With infrastructure development plans on a fast track schedule Qatar is also transforming its hospitality and tourism landscape to attract increasing numbers of both business and leisure visitors as economic diversification outside of the traditional oil and gas sector gains momentum.
In the run up to 2013 Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition (GIBTM), organiser Reed Travel Exhibitions is touring the GCC and the Levant to launch the ‘GIBTM Talks’ educational and networking forums for Meetings, Business Travel and Incentive based companies to gain insight and knowledge in order to enhance their trade show experience with their Doha event scheduled on 15th October.
Entitled ‘GIBTM Talks: Maximising your ROI’, the road show will commence on 14th October in Muscat and run through 18th October, visiting Doha, Manama, Amman and Beirut.
Commenting ahead of the forum, Lois Hall, Exhibition Manager for GIBTM, said: “Three years on from the launch of its 2009 tourism strategy, Qatari government investment into tourism infrastructure and the meetings and events sector has reaffirmed its focus on shaping a sustainable future for business tourism. Qatar aims to boost its overall tourism sector by 20% by 2014.
“The local tourism sector added US$1.1 billion to the local economy last year and 2012 has been extremely positive so far with the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) recording a 22% increase in GCC visitor numbers in Q1 2012 alone; with overseas arrivals on the up, especially from Asia, which registered the highest growth rate, followed by European visitors,” she added.
According to the QTA, the current hotel and serviced apartment room count, currently stands at 112 hotels and just under 17,000 units, with 85 hotels and 27 apartment hotels. Qatar is looking to grow this to 240 hotels by 2020.
Bolstering rooms’ inventory is a strong commitment to positioning Doha as a regional hub for global congresses and conventions, with the growth in facilities set to expand even further with the imminent launch of the Qatar National Convention Centre, offering more than 90,000 square metres of floor space.
This is supported by Qatar Airways’ own ambitious expansion plans and the New Doha International Airport opening in Q1 2013, with the potential to accommodate an estimated 50 million passengers per annum.
A 2011 Euromonitor report said that business tourism accounts for up to 89% of total arrivals into the country and this highly lucrative segment is benefiting from government as well as private sector investment.
Reed Travel Exhibitions is committed to being the driving force behind the region’s travel industry, offering value-added support to Qatar’s meetings and business travel community, the educational and networking forum, which is supported by the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), will be held at the Doha National Exhibition Centre from 10.00 to 1.00pm under the theme ‘Maximise Your ROI’.
“Our popular road show events are an invaluable opportunity for existing, new and potential exhibitors to gain insight and knowledge in order to enhance their GIBTM event experience as well as their return on investment as well as acquiring tips and tricks on how to effectively use social media as a tool to generate business,” said Hall.
The meetings and events sector has been further buoyed by a roster of world-class conference events with QITCOM and the World Postal Congress, already calendar-committed for the next couple of years.
Now in its seventh year, GIBTM attracts in excess of 2,400 industry professionals annually. New for the 2013 edition, and in response to increasing demand for business travel services in the region, GIBTM has launched its first dedicated Business Travel Pavilion. The show also hosts 300 regional and international senior level buyers, through the Hosted Buyer Programme, with a combined budget of over US$827 million, who through 7,600 pre-scheduled appointments over the two and a half-day exhibition, meet with more than 350 exhibitors from 36 different countries.
For more information, and to register as a delegate for the ‘GIBTM Talks: Maximizing forum on 15th October 2012, please log onto: http://www.gibtm.com/en/Exhibiting/GIBTM-Talks/