Travel Group Omega World Travel to Promote Bahrain
A world-renowned US travel group yesterday pledged
to promote Bahrain as a tourism, conference and business destination.
Omega World Travel, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, will undertake
the promotion through its Bahrain office and its 200 offices around the
Bahrain is an exciting place, which is in the centre of a growing area,
said Omega president and chief executive officer Gloria Bohan, who is
on a business visit.
"My first visit to Bahrain was in 1974 to meet a friend who worked
for the US Embassy," she told the GDN.
"A country which had not developed its infrastructure then is now
one of the world's most developed countries.
"Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain International Exhibition
Centre and other conference facilities are among the factors which can
attract international tourists and companies to Bahrain."
Omega, which registered sales worth $1.3 billion (BD491m), handled more
than three million airline customers last year.
"Many of them are corporate customers and business leaders who can
be encouraged to look at Bahrain and benefit from its progressive policies
aimed at attractive foreign direct investment," said Ms Bohan, who
is accompanied by managing director Goran Gligorovic.
They are expected to meet Crown Prince and BDF Commander-in-Chief Shaikh
Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa today.
Specialised travel agents are still in great demand around the world despite
an increase in online bookings, said Mr Gligorovic.
"Unmanaged travel results in 30 per cent more unnecessary spending
than managed travel," he noted.
"Travel agents should now take up the role of consultants, who can
help corporate clients and VIP travel, complicated international travel,
and quality control."
Omega, which was established by Ms Bohan in Fredericksburg, Virginia in
1972, is now the third largest travel agency in the US and is the largest
travel agency founded, operated and majority-owned by a woman.
The company has more than 150 branches in the US, six in Japan and offices
in the UK, Germany, Bahrain, Kuwait.
It is in the process of opening an outlet in Qatar.
Ms Bohan was named Travel Agent of the Year in 2004 by the American Society
of Travel Agents (ASTA).
"Omega's business is driven by technology, and this commitment has
resulted in the creation of a new company within the Omega group - TravTech.com,"
said Ms Bohan. "We have now diversified our operations with cruise
services and into the most sophisticated areas like space tourism and
zero gravity travel.