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Greek leading broker looks to develop emerging Mid East yacht market

One of the leading yacht brokers and operators of luxury crewed yacht charter in Greece is planning to hoist the company`s flag across the Middle East when…

One of the leading yacht brokers and operators of luxury crewed yacht charter in Greece is planning to hoist the company`s flag across the Middle East when it makes its regional market debut at Arabian Travel Market 2002, the premier Pan Arab travel and tourism exhibition taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates this May.



Athens-headquartered Afroudakis Yachting<.> says its Arabian Travel Market participation has a dual aim – to develop the outbound yachting market and also to investigate the feasibility of launching a charter operation in the Gulf.



We obviously want to meet all the travel agents in the region to expand our business contacts but also plan to view marinas and examine the possibility of moving our yachts occasionally for charter in Dubai and the surrounding areas, said Maria Bakalakou, Afroudakis` yacht charter broker.



We recently opened a new branch in San Francisco and, because we already have a lot of clients from the Middle East, are seriously considering a similar branch in Dubai offering yacht charters in Greece and the Middle East.



Afroudakis, says it currently has repeat business from the Middle East running at an annual revenue of US $300,000.



We believe the Middle East is an emerging market for the yachting industry and we want to be the market leaders and take advantage of the opening up of this sector in the region, said Bakalakou. Providing no unexpected events, such as September 11th, further impact the travel industry, we see the Middle East yacht market developing to become a serious sector player.



At Arabian Travel Market 2002 we will especially present our ideas for yacht charters during the 2004 Olympic Games.




Afroudakis is the only yachting supplier among exhibitors from 35 countries who have, to date, contracted for Arabian Travel Market 2002, which takes place from May 7-10.



The prospects for Afroudakis at Arabian Travel Market look immensely promising as last year, 59% of visitors polled said they attended the show with the specific aim of finding new products or developments, said Matt Thompson, Group Exhibition Director (Overseas Events), RTE. Also only 15% of those attending currently did outbound business with the Mediterranean when 20% wanted to. This type of specialist service was also listed by trade visitors as one area they felt was under-represented at the show. Companies like Afroudakis will fill a much-in-demand niche.



Arabian Travel Market 2002 represents the ninth in the highly-successful annual series, the only travel and tourism event with a true Pan Arab reach. RTE says despite the international travel downturn it expects this year`s event to match its record 2001 showing when over 700 exhibitors from 59 countries participated and over 10,000 people, including 6,336 trade professionals visited.

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