The tourism industry in Bahrain is expected to reach $1 billion by the year 2020, according to figures that have been released ahead of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2017.
The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA) has spearheaded a campaign that has seen the country witness an increase of 8.4% in the third quarter of 2016 with a peak of 1.4 million visitors arriving in August.
By 2018, Bahrain expects to welcome 15.8 million visitors which would represent an increase of 36.2% on current figures.
ATM senior exhibition director Simon Press said: “The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority has engaged with a number of public authorities and private sector organisations over recent months and the returns are beginning to be realised.
“The BTEA now operates seven official representation offices worldwide, with a focus on source markets in Europe and Asia, and will continue to work hand-in-hand with hotels, tour operators and cruise lines to achieve its objectives.”
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He said this growth will be driven primarily by the leisure sector, which will rise in value by 4.3% per annum to BHD 1.2 billion in 2026.
He added that business arrivals will generate BHD219.3 million by 2026.
Press added that the main theme of this year’s ATM is experiential travel and that Bahrain is a perfect example of what that sector offers.
He said that signficant investment has been set aside for the regeneration of the historic bazaar district, Manama Souq and similar projects at Bab Al Bahrain.
Bahrain based exhibitors at ATM include the Kingdom of Bahrain Tourism Sector, Ministry of Culture, Sabre, Farhat International Tours and Travels WLL and the Gulf Hotel Bahrain.
The country’s flagship luxury properties, such as Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay and Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa, will also be represented by their respective operators.
To drive the expected demand, BTEA’s plans for 2017 include capitalising on the leisure market, particularly the heritage and cultural aspects, regenerating beaches, targeting cruise passengers, as well as the opening of Avenues Bahrain Mall.
ATM takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 24-27 April.