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Bahrain witnesses 10% surge in tourist arrivals
11 : 34 AM - 19/10/2016
By Nayla Barakat
Manama, Oct. 19 (BNA): Bahrain has witnessed a 10 per cent increase in the number of tourist arrivals in the past two years and the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA) is targeting a two per cent growth of visitors to the country, a senior official at the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority said in a statement.

“Our main source of visitors to Bahrain were through the King Fahad Causeway," CEO of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority, Shaikh Khalid bin Humood Al Khalifa said. "In 2014, we had 8.6 million visitors to Bahrain from the causeway and in 2015 we had 9.6 million. As for the Bahrain International Airport, in 2014 we had 1.7 million visitors to Bahrain and in 2015 there were 1.8 million. Also through cruise ships we witnessed an increase in the number of visitors to Bahrain. It is an increase of 10 per cent and our main aim at the Authority is to maintain a two-digit growth in terms of visitors coming to Bahrain,” he said.

Shaikh Khalid said that in 2015 Bahrain had 11.6 million visitors and the BTEA is targeting to attract 15.8 million visitors to the kingdom by 2018.

“We are also proud to see an increase in the hotel occupancy. Previously, in 2013 our average occupancy rate was 45 per cent, then in 2014 we saw an increase of 50 per cent and in 2015 upto 52 per cent. So, there is a very well maintained growth in the hotel occupancy of Bahrain," he said.

“The current average expenditure of tourist is BD120.6 and we aim to increase it to BD136, which means an addition of BD16 in the next three years,” said Shaikh Khalid. “We were able to get these statistics of tourism expenditure through a survey conducted in coordination with the E-Government and Informatics Authority. Every 40th car from the King Fahad Causeway and every 10th traveler at the Bahrain International Airport was surveyed.”

Shaikh Khalid said that they had a very detailed survey on how much and where they spend whenever they stay in Bahrain.

“The survey helped us to indicate where the overflow, supply and demands in the market are. It also helped us to identify where to invest in the tourism infrastructure,” he said.

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