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Bahrain expects tourism revenues of $941m
April 2007 151

BAHRAIN’S information minister Dr Mohammed Abdul Ghaffar said the country expected to generate revenues of BD355 million ($941.7 million) from tourism in the next five years.

Demand in Bahrain's tourism sector had increased and several new four- and five-star hotels had been granted licences to operate in Bahrain, he said, adding that Bahrain would soon start marketing itself for the international tourism market, with a focus on European and Asian travellers.
“We are also encouraging local establishments and organisations to come up with attractive family-oriented programmes and activities, in addition to the establishment of recreational facilities that fulfil tourists’ needs,” he told members of the Shura Council.
The ministry would also work with the World Tourism Organisation to develop Bahrain’s tourism laws and structure. “We are currently being partnered by the Economic Development Board and the Industry and Commerce Ministry, in addition to the Bahrain Centre for Studies and Research, which will prepare studies on tourist facilities' development.
“It is time to impose a new image within GCC, Arab and foreign countries that Bahrain promotes clean tourism and our decision to zone tourist facilities from restaurants, hotels and furnished apartments away from residential areas, mosques and schools is a great example of that. We have already linked the ministry's website to a tourism-only website on Bahrain, where all attractions are listed and applications for tourist facility licences are available.”

$4 BILLION MOOTED
In related news, Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) group exhibitions’ overseas events director Mark Walsh told a press conference that the island’s tourism industry is expected to generate more than BD1.698 billion this year, a figure that will grow to BD2,645 billion in 2017.
He said the total demand is expected to grow by 14.5 per cent this year and by 6.3 per cent per annum from next year, according to figures released by the World Travel and Tourism Council.
He was speaking at a conference to announce the participation of Bahrain's companies and organisations in the upcoming Arabian Travel Market (ATM). Eight companies from Bahrain will participate, including Gulf Air, Sabre Travel Network Middle East and various hotels and travel agencies.




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