Hotels back Bahrain drive to woo Arab family tourists


Bahrain has launched a campaign to woo Arab families to the country throughout the summer.

The Bahrain Summer Bonanza 2001 promotion is a joint drive by the Government's Economic Development Board (EDB), Tourism Affairs and the country's seven five-star hotels.

The cut-price scheme, backed by a BD200,000 ($552,456) marketing campaign, was launched with a presentation at Le Royal Meridien Hotel, attended by representatives of the hotels, media and the travel industry.

Assistant Under-Secretary for Tourism, Dr Kadhem Rajab, said there had been a steady increase in the number of GCC tourists arriving in Bahrain during July-August, over the past three years.

The number of GCC visitors was 443,000 during July-August 1998, which increased to 514,000 during the same period in 1999 and to 600,000 in 2000, he said.

"We expect this number to increase substantially this year because of the unique summer bonanza promotion," he said.

Dr Rajab said out of 3.3 million arrivals in Bahrain last year, 75 per cent were from the GCC states. More than 30 per cent of them were one-day visitors.

The new promotion, especially the affordable rates offered by the five-star hotels, will encourage more people to stay for longer periods, he added.

Participating hotels include the Diplomat Radisson SAS, Gulf Hotel, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Le Royal Meridien, Regency Inter-Continental and Sheraton.

Tailor-made attractions are being offered to woo Arab families, said National Hotels Company general manager and five-star hoteliers executive committee chairman Abdulrahman Morshed.

"It is a promotion specially created to attract the Arab families in the GCC, which features lots of activities that families need and want while on vacation, with all the comfort and quality of a five-star hotel for a very good price," he said.

Six of the five-star hotels will offer accommodation at reduced rates from BD30 per night during the two-month bonanza period, starting on July 1. Le Royal Meridien Hotel rates are from BD37. Prices are subject to 15 per cent service charge and five per cent Government levy.

The package includes a complimentary stay for up to two children under 12 when staying in the room with their parents. Hotels have also included fun activities for the children in the package.

"Hopes are high for a successful summer," said Bahrain Hotels Company chief executive Mohammed Buzizi.

The launch included an audio-visual presentation, produced by a Fortune Promoseven team, headed by managing director Tariq Al Saffar.