The move by the Bahrain government to promote family tourism is in the right direction and will certainly enhance the image of this county, says a leading hotelier in the Kingdom.
"Hotels are only a small part in this exercise The main contribution should be in building tourism attractions, beaches and regular events to bring in people to the country right through the year," comments Sujay Uchil, general manager of the Hawar Resort Hotel. "Yes, once people come into the country the hotels are there to meet their requirements."
The resort has had a good summer. Uchil says that thanks to the Bahrain Summer festival the resort saw an increase of 25 per cent in occupancy levels for July-August. "EDB had got the ball rolling and certainly next year will only get better. Under the circumstances EDB has done a commendable job," he says, adding that to make the festival more appealing there should be some events that do not require a ticket to enter.
The Hawar Resort Hotel and Elite hotel are teaming up to provide packages to GCC tourists, during the months November to February. "We are offering a heavily discounted winter package for the local and international market," says Uchil.
Uchil's response is upbeat when asked about the future of tourism in Bahrain: "With large projects on the way, the future is bright. There is also an upbeat mood in the country with elections, democratic reform. All this had seen a spurt in the construction activity around the island and there is a general 'feel-good' mood, which will help the tourism sector."
Uchil says that Hawar island offers a great opportunity for Ornithologists (bird watchers) and the island, he suggests, could also be developed as a camping site.
Government agencies are chalking out a workable plan, which will ensure that the unspoiled islands do not lose their pristine charm.
The resort will be adding three more water slides to complement the existing two. The lobby is being renovated along with the coffee shop. The resort will also have a heated pool operational by the end of November.
There is also a proposal to improve the boat transfers to Hawar island, by introducing a fully-covered air-conditioned ferry, which will be custom built in Bahrain.
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