Bahrain unveils new tourism strategy to diversify its economic portfolio

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
  • Follow author on
Representational Image

Bahrain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism Mr. Zayed R. AlZayani has revealed the new 2022-2026 tourism strategy that intends to diversify the Kingdom’s economic portfolio, in parallel with the newly established Economic Recovery Plan.

Mr. AlZayani stated that Bahrain is working to increase the tourist sector’s contribution to GDP in line with the government’s development objectives, which are led by Crown Prince and Prime Minister His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

He noted that in accordance with the Kingdom’s economic recovery plan, “the tourism sector will aim to increase the total number of tourists to 14.1 million by 2026, the average daily visitor spends to $198.41 (BHD74.8) and raise the average tourist’s stay to 3.5 days.”

Mr. AlZayani, also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, emphasized that the tourism plan will contribute to the national economy, boost the Kingdom’s competitiveness, and attract further investments that will benefit the country and its citizens.

Zayed R AlZayani
Zayed R AlZayani
Minister of Industry, Commerce & Tourism

“The new tourism strategy is an extension of the 2016-2019 strategy, which has achieved its goals despite various challenges. When the strategy was launched in 2015, the travel and tourism sector represented less than 4 percent of the gross domestic product. Tourism’s contribution to GDP has grown to approximately 7 percent as a result of the efforts and initiatives launched by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority. The efforts will be increased to ensure the success of the new tourism strategy. the strategy’s framework, which includes four main objectives: increase the contribution of tourism to GDP to reach 11.4 percent in 2026, highlight Bahrain’s position as a global tourist hub, increase the number of targeted countries to attract more tourists, and diversify tourism products.”

The minister indicated that the plan is based on four strategies and they are

  • To facilitate entry into the Kingdom, diversify,
  • Develop tourist attractions, markets,
  • Promote tourism via the Kingdom’s national carrier “Gulf Air” in partnership with the private sector, and,
  • Enhance tourist accommodation.

Further, Mr. AlZayani noted the role of travel agencies in further developing the tourism sector, adding that the best travel agents have been identified in the main global markets to target and attract additional tourists.

He noted that the launch of the new tourism strategy follows the implementation of major national tourism projects, including the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre in Sakhir, which is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Furthermore, the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority is also working on several tourism projects, including the Qalali Coast waterfront, the diving waterfront, and the Bahrain Bay beach project.

Related: Dubai to merge Economy and Tourism Departments