More than four million tourists visited Bahrain last year, a 13 per cent increase over the 3.8 million figure recorded in 2000, a top government official has said.
This ranks Bahrain second only to Egypt for the number of visitors in the Middle East, Assistant Under-Secretary for Tourism Affairs Dr Kadhem Rajab said.
He attributed gains to Bahrain's distinctive characteristics, particularly its social structure.
"The history of our nation, the local heritage and culture, people's values and religious affiliations, their traditions and their attitudes towards visitors have all added to the positive image," he said.
Dr Rajab was speaking at a seminar on French Tourism and Architecture: The French Know-How at the Le Royal Meridien Hotel.
He pointed out that Bahrain had top tourism facilities, which include 70 restaurants specified for tourism services, 79 classified hotels, 16 hotel apartment properties and two resorts.
French consultants will be working with Bahrain tourism officials on the South Bahrain Touristic development project and on the Fasht Al Adham Reef development project, off the country's east coast, according to Ismail Al Shafei, assistant under-secretary for survey and physical planning at the Housing and Agriculture Ministry.
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