TOURISTS spent more than BD900 million in Bahrain this year, revealed latest statistics.
The Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry yesterday said that 8.7 million visitors arrived in Bahrain in the first nine months of the year compared to 7.7 million visitors last year.
They spent BD919 million during their stay in Bahrain, with an average daily spending of BD74.
“Tourism contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) this year is seven per cent compared to 6.3pc last year,” said Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Al Zayani.
“We expect to welcome 11 to 12 million visitors by the end of next year.
“There has been growth in most indicators of commerce and tourism sectors which shows we are in the right direction, and the reform we initiated (in 2015) is paying dividends.”
He was speaking during a press conference held yesterday at the ministry’s headquarters in Bahrain Financial Harbour to highlight this year’s performance in the presence of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority chief executive Shaikh Khalid bin Humood Al Khalifa.
He also spoke about the introduction of new legislation to boost the tourism sector such as licences for food trucks, regulating sea tourism and launching electronic surveys of the hospitality industry.
“Our tourism potential for next year will focus on water sports and using our coastlines or waterways to boost the sector,” added Mr Al Zayani.
He also said ongoing tourism projects worth $32 billion were ongoing and would help the economy for the next four years.
Details of these projects were discussed in a statement issued by Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) yesterday, which said investment in Bahrain’s tourism infrastructure reached over BD4.9 billion.
The figure covers 14 prominent projects that will further boost growth in the country’s tourism and leisure sector.
“The tourism sector is one of the key investment sectors we recognise as having a strong competitive advantage for Bahrain,” said Bahrain EDB managing director Dr Simon Galpin.
“Bahrain continues to reaffirm its position as a tourism destination of choice with a number of new hotels, retail and leisure developments currently underway.”
He added that the public-private sector investment consisted of $10bn of government funding, $7.5bn under the Gulf Development Fund, and $15bn worth of investment in the private sector.
The GDN previously reported that Bahrain’s tourism strategy also extends to medical-tourism projects through King Abdullah Medical City, and mixed-use real estate projects such as Bahrain Bay, Bahrain Marina, Diyar Al Muharraq, Water Garden City, Dilmunia, and Marassi Al Bahrain where Emaar Hospitality brands such as The Address Hotel and Vida are under construction.
Source Credit: Gulf Daily News