AHIC will discuss island marketing

A Staff Reporter
Filed on April 27, 2006

DUBAI How to brand an island to appeal to the global tourist and the secrets of attracting international capital are among the topics covered by a special session on Emerging Island Destinations at the Arab Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) being held in Dubai between April 29 and May 1.

Three tourism ministers Samia Hassan from Zanzibar, Noel Lynch from Barbados and Dr Mahmood Shaugee from the Maldives will take to the stage to debate issues of island marketing.

Robert Riley, the new CEO of Armani Hotels & Resorts, will moderate the panel discussion and they will be joined by Hamza Mustafa, General Manager of Nakheel's Dubai island development The World.

The Maldives will be highlighted as a case study, differentiating between the mass market and high-end approach to development. Michael Misick, Chief Minister from the Turks and Caicos Islands, will speak on the challenges of establishing a name and a brand within the umbrella branding of the Caribbean.

According to the organiser Jonathan Worsley, the interesting issue to be raised on this session will be why investors should invest in The Maldives, Barbados, Turks and Caicos or The World.

There will be lessons for regional destinations to be learnt, particularly in distinguishing brands that are essentially offering a similar product.

He said: "To many travellers from overseas, the Middle East is the big brand, the Gulf might be a product but individual destinations such as Bahrain, Qatar, Ras Al Khaimah, Muscat or Salalah need to be clearly defined to woo and capture the right audience."

The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference will run from April 29 - May 1, 2006, at Dubai's Madinat Jumeirah conference centre. The conference is organised by Jonathan Worsley, Managing Director of International Hospitality Services and MEED Conferences.

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