Tourism 'to add $1bn to Bahrain economy by 2020'

Emaar, Wyndham, Anantara among brands planning 3,000 hotel rooms in Gulf kingdom
Tourism 'to add $1bn to Bahrain economy by 2020'
(Getty Images)
By Sarah Townsend
Mon 29 Feb 2016 01:54 PM

Tourism in Bahrain is expected to contribute $1 billion to the country’s economy by the end of the decade, according to official statistics.

Figures from the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) reveal that there was an 11 percent increase in visitor numbers between 2014 and 2015 – a rise of 10 million tourists.

The sector is forecast to grow even further in the coming years, EDB said, with 3,000 hotel rooms counted in the development pipeline at present.

For example, US-based hotel chain Wyndham Hotel Group has four properties under construction and scheduled to open within the next 12-18 months, while Emaar Hospitality Group has announced plans to open four hotels in Bahrain under its Address and Vida brands by 2018.

Luxury Asian brand Anantara is also scheduled to open a hotel in the kingdom, on Durrat Al Bahrain in 2018.

The EDB is exhibiting at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) industry show in Dubai this year.  Nadege Noblet-Segers, exhibition manager at ATM said in a statement this week: “Bahrain is making significant investment into its tourism-related infrastructure, including a much needed $1.1 billion airport expansion, and also has plans to expand its current exhibition centre to accommodate large-scale events across all categories, so this year’s ATM will provide an excellent platform for the kingdom’s tourism and hospitality community to highlight its future vision.”

Meanwhile, Sheikh Khalid bin Hamoud Al Khalifa, acting CEO of the Bahrain Authority for Tourism and Exhibitions (BATE), has pledged to implement the national tourism strategy adopted by the kingdom’s tourism executive committee to promote the economy, according to state news agency BNA.

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