For the moment, however, current tendencies in the country are different. As Bassila summarised, “The trend in

Bahrain is still related to corporate business during the week and leisure in weekends.

The sport segment has flourished with [IRONMAN 70.3 Middle East Championship Bahrain] and many other events. Our neighbours in the Saudi Arabia keep on supporting Bahrain throughout the year and this is a great asset for us.”

Mehta agreed that Saudi Arabia is a major supplier to the country.

“We truly realise that Saudi travellers contribute the single largest component of business in the city and are willing to develop and nurture this segment of business.

[Ramada Hotel & Suites Amwaj Island] is ideally designed with a choice of one-, two- and three-bedroom suites and we wish to add options of flexible check-in/check-out timings, complimentary shuttles and transport which would cater specifically to this segment.”

He added that the management will focus on regional business travellers in addition to GCC families, and commented that the plan to develop a new convention centre would go a long way in sustaining Bahrain’s position as a corporate travel destination.

Massetti offered a different insight into the Kingdom’s tourism industry focussing on the more modern perspective.

“In Bahrain, as anywhere else, the millennial generation is now becoming the new customer to grab. Keeping up the pace with this technology-savvy, well-educated and travelled bloggers of all and lifestyle seekers is the new challenge,” she said, adding that ease of communication and connection with all media, change of entertainment offerings as well as customising their experience is paramount since this specific clientele is growing or have grown up in a world that it is all about them.

Along the same lines, Najia Zainal, media and public relations manager, Elite Hospitality Group, commented that every year, as the travel industry takes an evolutionary step forward, at the current phase, the company noticed the increment of online usage, as from the initial planning of a trip and ticket reservations to booking hotels and even internal transportation while on a trip, all can be done with a single click using smartphones and from the comfort of one’s own space.

She summarised, “The Kingdom of Bahrain is constantly evolving in terms of business or tourism, which opens new horizons for investors or tourists alike.”