Five-year plan for tourism

Behbehani...festival development

THE latest five-year action plan formulated by the Kuwait tourism office will see the emirate launch a number of festivals aimed at attracting increased numbers of leisure visitors.

Building on the successful Hala February event, which celebrates the beauty of spring with an annual parade, concerts and various cultural events, the tourism office also plans to launch a heritage festival, which is expected to take place later in the year and will feature art and crafts shows, performances and displays.

Organisation for a festival of tourism is also currently out to tender and will see events at the country’s hotels and leisure destinations.

Majda Behbehani, director of marketing and foreign relations at the tourism sector of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said: “Festivals have been put on before but now we want to support them in any way we can such as through marketing and awareness help.

“Previously Kuwait has mostly been about business travellers but we want to open up to more family and leisure tourism which will help this sector grow.

“We are looking at family visitors from the GCC market and particularly focusing on domestic travel with the current political situation.”

Kuwait is aiming to reach one million visitors per year within the five year period and Behbehani added that part of the government’s vision is to develop Kuwait as a commercial and financial centre with tourism running alongside as business visitors are encouraged to stay and spend a little time getting to know the country.

She also said the tourism sector is receiving help from the UN World Tourism Organisation to put together a tender for a programme to restructure the sector and implement training and market awareness.