The Bahrain Tourism & Exhibition Authority has been active opening seven official representation offices worldwide. They will be active In two continents namely Europe (France, Germany, UK & Russia) and Asia (China, India & Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). Sheikh Khalid Bin Humod Al Khalifa CEO of Bahrain Tourism & Exhibition Authority outlined the strategy for the Promotion offices to interact with international tour operators, leading hospitality Corporations and major cruise lines. The representation offices will participate in the travel and hospitality events in Their designated regions. Showcasing Bahrain unique culture, art, sports, history and tourist attractions as well.
2017 plans: Yousef Alkhan, director of marketing & tourism Promotion revealed to me future plans for 2017. It includes remodeling the website for Bahrain tourism and events. Another positive development is upgrading the capacity of Bahrain beaches and resorts to accommodate world vacationers and regional expat week-enders as well.
Cruise Lines: Bahrain is a major hub for international cruise passenger lines. Aida, Tui, Thompson and a variety of cruise lines make weekly visits to Bahrain. It is expected that 100,000 cruise passengers will tour Bahrain this year. Cruise Arabia consortium has been formed to promote its traffic to major GCC ports Namely Qatar, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman. Bahrain tour operators and Tourist facilities actively join annual SeaTrade and Mediterranean Cruise Conferences and expos.
Richard Mathias, managing director of Mathias tourism company is pleased at the feedback of cruise passengers once they finish their city tours “they are impressed by culture, art and ambiance .. they are determined for a comeback!”. BTEA will participate in the upcoming ITB exhibition and show held next March 2017. Bahrain is a prime beneficiary of cruise travel in the region.
UPCOMING PROJECTS: Swiss Belhotel international will manage a five star Resort hotel due to open in 2017. The state of the art property has a unique Location overlooking Bahrain bay. Another major boost to the economy and tourist inflows to Bahrain is the development of Avenues Bahrain Mall due to open this year. Avenues features upscale retail outlets and leisure facilities that appeals to gulf families. Another mega luxury property will open up soon. The One & Only Resort Bahrain offers 150 luxurious guest rooms overlooking Seef bay. The sophisticated resort will
Consolidate the image of Bahrain as a Boutique destination. Ashley Mcbain, vice president for global communications & public relations is optimistic about the performance of the One & Only Resort chains in the GCC region.
Shopping Festival: residents of the gulf region are lucky to enjoy a long break that covers the period (19 January – 18 February) 2017. It is a perfect venue for launching The annual shopping festival that attracts large volume of visitors from neighboring countries and international visitors as well. Families love to visit Bahrain during the winter break. Actually its friendly people and fair weather is A basic asset that lures tourists for a repeat call.
Culture & History: The national museum offers unique collections of antiquities that provides its visitors with a quick review of the region’s history and intricate Past. Bahrain fort is a must see for passionate archaeology fans. Cruise ship visitors flock to tour the local Souk and get souvenirs for their loved ones. Al Fateh Mosque is a popular stop for holidaymakers.
Formula 1 Grand Prix: for the last decade hotels are jammed with passionate Fans of daring speed and adventure who pack their gears heading for Bahrain to follow the frantic super leading world auto races. It is a seasonal crowd pleaser that mixes anticipation with sensation!
Pearl Diving: historically Bahrain has been regarded as an exceptional island for pearl diving. Cartier and other top French jewelers and fashion designers. Took regular trips to Bahrain to select natural pearls to match their exquisite Collections. The Boutique Island is a natural stop over for traders, travelers, and sea voyages Since time immemorial.
King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa democratic and liberal policies have consolidated the image of Bahrain as a safe haven. Which in turn encouraged foreign investors to establish their enterprises and multiply their ventures in a record time.
Competitiveness: according to the travel and tourism competitiveness index (TTCI) Bahrain ranked in the 38 place in 2009. In 2015 it attracted 1.3 million International tourist arrivals that generated 1.7 billion US dollars. Both tourism and hospitality are regarded as a major employer sustaining the service industries of the island. It is true that “small is beautiful & competitive as well!”