Fifteen new five- and four-star hotels and beachfront resorts with a combined investment of more than $10 billion will be established in Bahrain over the next five years, a report said.
The list includes world-renowned hotel brands including: The One&Only Resort, Wyndham Grand Hotel, Fairmont, Vida Hotel & Resort, The Address Hotel & Resort, Ibis Hotel and Pullman Hotel, said the latest Bahrain Economic Quarterly (BEQ) by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).
These hotels will add to the kingdom’s existing portfolio of more than 190 hotels and resorts. This includes 18 five-star hotels, 48 four-star hotels, 35 three-star hotels, 81 serviced apartments and 11 resorts. These hotels currently offer a capacity of more than 16,500 rooms.
The report said the kingdom’s hotel and restaurant sector witnessed a robust growth of three per cent during the quarter.
In order to continue to attract new visitors and support demand, Bahrain has unveiled its brand-new tourism identity: ‘Ours. Yours. Bahrain’ as part of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority’s (BTEA) commitment towards reinvigorating the kingdom’s tourism industry.
The campaign’s strategic and infrastructural initiatives aim to increase tourism’s contribution to Bahrain’s GDP to $1 billion by 2020, effectively doubling the share from 3.6 per cent to 6.6 per cent.
BTEA also established six international offices to help drive development and raise awareness of Bahrain’s tourism in key global markets such as: UK, France, India, Germany and Russia.
Stressing the importance of the kingdom’s developments in the tourism and hospitality sectors, Khalid Al Rumaihi, chief executive of EDB, commented: “These future investments in the hospitality sector will bring several new international hotel chains to the Kingdom and raise the profile of existing ones. It is expected to increase hotel capacity by around 4,000 hotel rooms in the country by 2020 and fill the gaps in the market, especially in the mid-market and luxury sector – for example, in the development of all-inclusive premium resorts.
“These new developments will both help to meet rising demand and attract new visitors to the kingdom. Bahrain showed strong growth in tourist numbers in 2016, witnessing a 6 per cent increase in the number of tourist arrivals, receiving 12.2 million. Bahrain is a regional hub for tourism, with over 300 million people within two hours flight, of which the majority are regional visitors travelling from within the GCC.”
The tourism sector is an essential pillar of the kingdom’s economy. Bahrain views the sector as a key area of growth, and has been focusing its efforts towards its development alongside financial services, manufacturing, ICT, transportation and logistics.
Key tourism developments
The kingdom has a strong pipeline of infrastructure projects worth over $32 billion, some directly supporting the tourism sector. They include a second causeway linking Bahrain and Saudi Arabia which will connect the two countries by road and by the proposed GCC rail network, in addition to the $1.1 billion Bahrain International Airport modernisation programme, which on completion will increase the airport’s capacity by 65 per cnet to receive up to 14 million passengers per year.
Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, announced on the sidelines of the 2016 Bahrain International Airshow that it will expand its aircraft fleet with an order valued at $7.6 billion consisting of 16 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, 17 Airbus A321neo and 12 Airbus A320neo aircraft.
Cruise-ship holiday-makers are also a target for the kingdom, and Bahrain has received over 90,000 passengers in the 2016/2017 GCC cruise season, the report said. – TradeArabia News Service