101 Things to See & Do… is a series of pictorially rich travel guides, which—as the title suggests—highlights the must-see attractions for each destination.
Published by Arab World Tours in association with A Type of Magic, these pocket-sized books feature original photography accompanied by short text commentary from a team of travel writers who make their picks after touring the region.
The guides are printed on glossy bright white paper to show the photographs in their best light. Unlike Lonely Planet or Rough Guides, these books—typically around 240 pages each—are not packed with the minutiae of life in the city. Rather, they feature a few well-written travel articles, the selected 101 things to see and do, and essential information like consulates, important phone numbers and a selection of local words and phrases that a visitor might need to use.
The rich imagery makes the guide a valuable keepsake, something to leaf through and bring back memories long after the visit is complete. Seven destinations have been covered so far: Bahrain, Ireland, Istanbul, Chios (Greece), Oman, Scotland and Yemen.
Guides to several other destinations are currently in the planning stages. The guides, which were designed, edited and co-published by A Type of Magic, have earned a lot of positive feedback from readers, tourism offices and the media. More than 75,000 copies have currently been sold.
"As the owner of a successful tours company in Bahrain, the one thing I found sorely lacking was a really good guide to the country—one that went beyond providing dry information, and featured interesting articles, great travel photography and high quality printing.
I decided I was willing to publish such a guide myself, and approached Clive Jacques, a close friend and general manager of the country's leading media firm, for advice on how to get such a book put together. Clive suggested I get in touch with Archie, who he said was a perfect fit as he had great writing, design and production skills.
After meeting Archie, we decided to take it on together as a special project, and it became a labour of love for both of us. Our goal was to make The Visitor's Complete Guide to Bahrain unique, visually appealing and interesting, not only for tourists but for new residents as well. It was demanding work, but well worth it in the end.
The >magazine sized guide was successful from the outset: Bahrain's tourism department and business promotions board both adopted it as their official book for marketing the country, and leading companies, airlines and hotels quickly came on board by advertising in future editions.
From 64 pages for that first edition in 1996, the guide grew to 224 pages in the last edition in 2008, before the book was transitioned into 101 Things to See & Do…, a new and ongoing travel guide series. Every edition featured all-new articles and pictures, with a growing team of contributors from around the world. Archie and his company A Type of Magic continue to play a key role in all our print and web publishing projects, and are a huge reason why our projects have enjoyed international success."