According to the latest research report released by global real estate consultancy firm CBRE, the hospitality industry continues to be one of the prime drivers of Bahrain’s recent economic growth with over 12 million people visiting the country annually.
CBRE’s 2019 Bahrain Market Snapshot for the first quarter of the year reveals that tourism numbers have aggregated to an average increase of 8 per cent year-on-year since 2012.
Among those visiting Bahrain, residents from Saudi Arabia stand out as the most frequent travellers to the kingdom entering the country via the King Fahd Causeway – forming 87 per cent of the total inbound tourist numbers in 2018.
James Lynn, head of strategic advisory at CBRE Bahrain, said: “The dynamics of the hotel industry are evolving. Tourism is a key aspect of Bahrain’s 2030 vision and as the tourism figures continue to rise, it is important for developers, operators and service providers to have a thorough understanding of changing consumer habits, to ensure they are well-positioned to deliver a strategy that serves the needs of travellers and the market alike.”
CBRE’s records show that the majority of the visitors travel to Bahrain for the purpose of holiday and leisure, comprising 63 per cent of the total number of people entering the country, while the second main reason for travel is to visit friends and relatives, constituting 17 per cent of the market.
The majority of tourists – comprising 71 per cent of the total – seemed to prefer to stay in hotels when visiting Bahrain while 17 per cent opted for more affordable and spacious furnished apartment options, with the average length of stay rising up to approximately three nights across the market in 2018.
Lynn added: “With a 5.2 per cent year-on-year increase in five-star hotel key supply and a 4.9 per cent year-on-year increase in occupancy rates indicated in performance figures, the hospitality industry is expected to carry on creating genuine value for the country’s economy with a collection of niche development opportunities across the resort and city hotel markets.”