Bahrain changes will 'strengthen industry'


The social and political changes in Bahrain have strengthened the country's position in the region which will inevitably have a positive impact on the tourism industry, says Gulf Hotel.

A spokesperson said the hotel was optimistic about the future of the travel and tourism industry in the country following the recent developments, namely the proclamation of the kingdom and the huge support of the public towards the Kingdom, the National Charter and its implications.

The spokesperson said the hotel whose major business came from the MICE segment, took a devastating hit in the final quarter of the last year due to September 11 attacks in the US.

"Due to the Gulf International Convention and Exhibition Center (GICEC), we have many conferences, seminars, exhibitions and trade shows throughout the year. Therefore, the MICE market is obviously one of Gulf Hotel's prominent target markets," said the spokesperson.

But the hotel said it was optimistic about the outlook this year as the amount of business travel to the Kingdom was rising constantly along with the rising trend of global business opportunities and investment in Bahrain.

It said as the majority of tourists in Bahrain came from neighbouring GCC counties, this segment had not been affected.

"On the contrary, the September 11 incident has improved regional tourism since people were reluctant to travel outside the region mainly to Europe and USA where people preferred to travel for tourism," said the spokesperson.

Bahrain is a popular regional tourist destination due to its central location and this market is developing rapidly, the hotel said.

"Tourism and leisure facilities in the Kingdom are being developed, both in terms of quality and quantity and these will give the industry a boost," it said.

The hotel which had had stepped up promotions in the Gulf and the local markets said its annual summer promotions would be getting underway soon adding to its attraction as a major venue in Bahrain.

The centrally located five-star hotel has 366 luxurious rooms and suites, two executive floors with private lounge, check-in, and personal services.

It offers a comprehensively equipped business centre including an Internet cafŽ, five individual meeting rooms and two boardrooms.

The hotel also has a choice of six fine dining outlets, health clubs for men and women, two flood lit tennis courts, two air conditioned squash courts, a children's pool and a temperature controlled swimming pool which is currently being renovated.

The poolside area will also feature a Thai seafood restaurant while a new Iranian restaurant will be built this year within the hotel.