Bahrain welcomed 3.2 million visitors during the first quarter of 2019, a 3.1% increase compared with the same period last year, it has been revealed.
The number of international arrivals reached 3.5 million, a 3.1% increase from last year as well, the chief executive officer of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), Shaikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa, said.
The BTEA is focusing its efforts on enhancing the tourism sector’s contribution to the national economy through its wide-ranging comprehensive strategies, which seek to promote local tourism at both regional and international levels.
In this regard, Shaikh Khaled highlighted that 22 new hotels are scheduled to open in the next four years.
In addition, the five-star hotel occupancy rate increased to 53% during the same period last year, while-four-star hotels occupancy reached 46% compared to 42% during Q1 2018.
The tourism statistics for Q1 2019 showed a remarkable increase in the use of the kingdom’s ports of entry – a 2% increase in visitors arriving via King Fahad Causeway, reaching a total of 2,810,822 visitors. It also showed an increase of 3% in visitors arriving via Bahrain International Airport, reaching a total of 299,196 visitors, and an 82% increase in visitors arriving via Khalifa bin Salman Port, reaching a total of 81,371 visitors.
The total number of nights spent by tourists in the Kingdom reached approximately 4.1 million nights, an average of 3.3 nights per tourist.
The average expenditure of visitors increased by 3.1%, which increased the tourism sector’s contribution to the GDP. The real GDP share of hotels and restaurants increased by 8%, a nominal GDP increase of 7.1%. In addition, the number of arriving passengers increased by 3.3% and departing passengers increased by 3.7%, marking a 3.1% average increase in passenger movements.
Shaikh Khaled highlighted that these positive results come as part of the BTEA’s long-term strategy to develop the tourism sector under the slogan “Bahrain. Ours. Yours”, which focuses on promoting tourism offerings to attract more regional and international visitors, and increasing the sector’s contribution to the national economy in line with the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030.