Bahrain tourism targets US$1 billion by 2020
Kingdom targets 36.2% increase in tourism arrivals by 2018
The tourism industry in the Kingdom of Bahrain is growing rapidly and is expected to reach US$1 billion by 2020.
According to figures released ahead of ATM 2017, Bahrain witnessed an 8.4% increase in inbound traffic in the third quarter of 2016 and a peak of 1.4 million arrivals during the month of August.
The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA) has launched a robust marketing campaign, which it hopes will in turn result in welcoming 15.8 million annual visitors by 2018.
This will represent an increase of 36.2% on current figures and will place the country’s tourism industry on track to reach its $1 billion 2020 target.
ATM senior exhibition director Simon Press said: “The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority has engaged with a number of public authorities and private sector organisations over recent months and the returns are beginning to be realised.
“The BTEA now operates seven official representation offices worldwide, with a focus on source markets in Europe and Asia, and will continue to work hand-in-hand with hotels, tour operators and cruise lines to achieve its objectives.”
This growth will be driven primarily by the leisure sector, which should rise in terms of value by 4.3% per annum to $3.18 (BHD 1.2) billion in 2026. While business arrivals will generate $581.5 (BHD 219.3) million per annum by 2026.
As activity continues to increase, GDP contributions from tourism will also rise, from the 10.6% contribution witnessed in 2015 to a predicted 13% contribution towards GDP in 2026.
The news comes as inbound investment into Bahrain’s tourism infrastructure reaches new heights.
From funding totaling $275.24 (BHD105.3) million in 2015 – representing 5.3% of total investment that year – investment is expected to reach $577.83 (BHD 217.9) million in 2026, which will be 8.6% of the national total.
The $1.1 billion Airport Modernisation Programme (AMP) at Bahrain International Airport will double capacity from 7 million to 14 million passengers per year, by Q2 2020.
STR Global estimates that there is currently, 12,641 rooms and a pipeline of 4,187 rooms, an increase of 33.1% in hotel stock over the coming years.