Bahrain likely to escape worst of global travel slump, says official


Bahrain is likely to escape the worst of the worldwide travel slump following terrorist attacks on the US, because most of its tourism is regional, said a top official.

'Even though, the September 11 attacks in the US may reduce the growth rate during the fourth quarter, we do not anticipate the effects to be considerable, mainly because 75pc of arrivals are nationals and residents of the neighbouring GCC countries, who usually drive to Bahrain,' said assistant under-secretary for tourism Dr Kadhem Rajab.

Business arrivals in Bahrain increased by 36 per cent last year, thanks largely to successful government efforts in promoting the country as a business destination, he said.

'It is also an indication of the government's commitment to create and support business opportunities,' he told The Marketing Forum, held at the Gulf Hotel last month.

Dr Rajab said the statistics for the third quarter of this year showed a continuous healthy performance.

'Arrivals have increased by 14pc over the same period last year,' he said.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Affairs said that a total of 318,831 passengers travelled through Bahrain International Airport in September, a dip of just 1.98 per cent down on last September's record figures, despite the global slump.