IRRESPECTIVE OF ITS SIZE, BAHRAIN IS A POWERFUL PLAYER IN THE TOURISM INDUSTRY AND

IS PROGRESSING RAPIDLY TOWARDS BECOMING A COUNTABLE FORCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

With the World Travel & Tourism Council estimating that Bahrain attracted over 6.45 million international travellers in 2015, the country is investing in its potential and future ambitions in line with forecasts indicating that arrival numbers are set to reach 10.16 million by 2025.

Various efforts are undertaken by governmental entities to lure in higher numbers of tourists, with the Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities (BACA) playing a vital role in this development.

The organisation has just recently unveiled the Cultural Tourism Passport Photo Expo, as part of its endeavours to firmly establish the country’s presence on the tourism map as a prized cultural hub both regionally as well as globally.

Serving as an invitation, The Cultural Tourism Passport enticed visitors to get a taste of Bahrain’s heritage and see 21 of the Kingdom’s most iconic and historical landmarks with the assistance of a detailed map provided by BACA.

In addition, national carrier Gulf Air supports the tourism sector via a continuous drive to strengthen Bahrain’s position as a unique destination, showcasing its many distinctive characteristics to a regional and global audience and highlighting its myriad of tourist attractions, encouraging visitors to come and enjoy the trademark Arabian hospitality, as Maher Salman Al Musallam, acting CEO, Gulf Air, said.

Susy Massetti, operations manager, The Palace Boutique Hotel, sees no reason as to why the Kingdom should be considered inferior to any other regional destination.

She commented, “Bahrain is strategically well-situated in the Gulf with a small yet efficient airport that is connected virtually to any destination in the world.

The relaxed visa process including the very first multiple-entry visa in the region as well as the welcoming attitude of the immigration officers make the entry in the country very easy while the road infrastructure is getting better by the day.”

This positive image is also apparent in the country’s hospitality sector. According to CBRE Group’s research, Bahrain’s hotel scene, particularly the luxury segment, continues to see growth as an influx of four- and five-star hotels has been announced during 2015.

As per data provided by the real estate services firm, there are currently 108 accommodation establishments operating in Bahrain and this figure is set to continue to rise, with upcoming properties, such as Rotana Downtown, Wyndham Grand at Bahrain Bay and Marriott Residence Inn at Water Garden City.