Thursday, August 3, 2017

Bahrain inbound tourism up 14pc during H1

Bahrain welcomed 5.6 million visitors during the first half of 2017, an increase of 14 per cent compared to the same period in 2016.

The figures were revealed by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) during a press conference held at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Center (BIECC).

The press conference, headed by the chief executive officer of the BTEA HE Shaikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa, and held in the presence of the general director of statistics Dr. Nabeel Shams and a number of representatives from BTEA.

The tourism statistics comes as part of an agreement developed between BTEA and the Information and eGovernment Authority to implement the ‘Tourism Expenditure Survey to Quantify Inbound and Outbound Tourism for the year 2017’, which was introduced for the first time in the kingdom under the Tourism Statistics Development Program for the years 2016-2017.

“Inbound tourism expenditure during the first half of 2017 amounted to BD631.4 million ($1.6 billion) while the average tourist expenditure per day reached BD77 ($202.8) per day,” said Shaikh Khaled.

“Also total nights booked during the first half of 2017 totaled to 4.7 tourist nights with average length of stay (ALOS) reaching 2.3 night per tourist. Hotels topped the list of the type of accommodation booked by travellers, with over 70 per cent of travelers coming through the Bahrain International Airport and 72 per cent travelling through the King Fahad Causeway opting for a hotel stay,” he added.

“Our efforts are exerted in positioning the kingdom on the international tourism map and promoting Bahrain as a regional and international tourist destination which is line with our overall tourism strategy,” said Shaikh Khaled.

Other statistics revealed include an increase in the overall usage of mode of transport during the first half of 2017 with an increase of 13 per cent in the number of tourist accessing the kingdom through King Fahad Causeway, equivalent to 4.9 million visitors. Also the Bahrain International Airport witnessed an increase of 23 per cent which is equivalent to 616,230 visitors and Khalifa bin Salman Port recorded an increase of 44 per cent which equals to 43,191 visitors.

BTEA also revealed that 57 per cent of tourists visiting Bahrain stated ‘holiday and leisure’ as purpose of the visit, while 22 per cent mentioned shopping followed by 9 per cent for friends and families, 7 per cent for business, 2 per cent for health care and 3 per cent for other reasons.

Bahrain also welcomed 63 per cent of same day visitors (less than 24 hours), which is equivalent to 635,454 tourists, and 37 per cent of tourist trips (more than one night) during the first half of 2017.

The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Strategy ‘Ours Yours’ is based on four pillars in a step to further develop the tourism sector as a main contributor to the national economy. The strategy is based on four pillars ‘awareness, attraction, access and accommodation; including the improvement in the overall accessibility to Bahrain, attracting exhibitions and conferences to the Kingdom, improving the quality of services in the tourism and hospitality sectors, and strengthening the position of the kingdom as an ideal tourist destination for families and international tourist.

BTEA also launched its representative offices in Saudi Arabia, UK, Germany, France, India, China and Russia in order to further solidify its strategy. - TradeArabia News Service

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