Destination Pearlywood

America may have Hollywood and India its all-dancing Bollywood but if Bahrain’s tourism chiefs get their way film production crews will soon be heading for the sparkle of Pearlywood.

Opening up the kingdom to the film industry is one of a number of initiatives announced by the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Alzayani, at a Press conference at the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre in Sanabis last night.

Covid-19-delayed plans to boost the sector are now back in focus as a money-spinning way to help balance the fiscal books and come on the back of the weekend’s opening of an amphitheatre, Gulf Air’s additional direct flights to targeted destinations and the planned opening of a new exhibition and convention centre shortly.

Destination Pearlywood could prove an additional attraction to lure film crews looking for an ideal location.

Mr Alzayani, who is also the board chairman of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA) and chairman of the executive board of the Arab Tourism Organisation (ATO), said: “One of our strategies is to make Bahrain a hub or destination for any media or filming be it in Arabic, English, Hindi or any other language.

“We have seen how some series and movies have resulted in popularising the kingdom from a touristic standpoint and making certain areas and landmarks in Bahrain more famous or better-known.

“Bahrain also has a rich culture, heritage and history which we are proud to share and that is another element that we are focusing on.”

The new Bahrain Tourism Strategy for 2022-2026, which was announced in the presence of dignitaries and members of the National Communications Centre, also focused on the development of waterfronts, sea leisure activities, business, sport and medical tourism.

Mr Alzayani added that the broad objectives of the tourism strategy were to promote Bahrain’s position as a global tourism centre and increase the contribution of tourism to the gross domestic product.

He said the BTEA has embarked upon many initiatives and projects that will help achieve the objectives of the strategy.

Mr Alzayani also touched on the varied investments being made in the hospitality sector with six hotels in the pipeline following three new ones already opened in recent months despite the global pandemic.

Supportive actions include the streamlining of procedures at ports of entry, diversification and development of tourist attractions, marketing and promotion of tourism in partnership with the private sector and the national carrier and attracting investments in tourism projects.




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