Inbound tourism increases by 51pc

The number of inbound tourists increased by 51 per cent in the first six months of this year, reaching 5.9 million visitors, up from 3.9m visitors in the same time period in 2022, according to new tourism indicators.

Tourism Minister and Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) chairperson Fatima Al Sairafi expressed optimism about accomplishing additional tourism milestones and doubling investments in the sector, which will greatly upsurge its contribution to the growth and prosperity of the national economy.

She was chairing a meeting of the BTEA board of directors yesterday, in the presence of chief executive Dr Nasser Qaedi.

The minister stated that BTEA is on track to meet the objectives of the Tourism Strategy 2022–2026.

The meeting discussed the latest key tourism indicators for January-June 2023, which showed significant annual and quarterly progress, with more increases in inbound flows by nationalities, modes of transport and trip types.

Based on initial statistics, total overnights reached 8.9m for January-June 2023, up by 54pc from 5.8m overnights over the same period in 2022.

Total inbound tourism receipts exceeded BD924m for the period, up by 48pc from BD623m over the same period the previous year.

According to the trip types, the same-day visitors reported a 43pc increase from 2.3m during January-June 2022 to 3.3m. Overnight visitors (tourists) increased by 63pc from nearly 1.6m to reach approximately 2.6m.

Dr Qaedi updated the board on tourism projects in the pipeline throughout the kingdom, including multiple future tourism and entertainment initiatives and events.

He also reviewed the latest hotel and hospitality institution occupancy rates during the January-June 2023 period, which displayed a big improvement throughout the first half of this year.

The meeting also addressed potential opportunities to enhance co-operation with the national carrier Gulf Air to increase inbound visitors on its fleet and utilise its widespread network of destinations worldwide.

Ms Al Sairafi concluded by reaffirming the importance of strengthening partnerships with the private sector in adopting programmes and launching innovative projects that would enhance the diversity of the tourism products and attract more tourists from around the globe.

She added that the focus continued to be on the 19 targeted markets in line with the strategy along with organising more diverse tourism and entertainment events and expos.

She called for building on these positive results to keep surpassing tourism KPIs through enhanced efforts and available resources based on the main seven pillars of the tourism strategy, which will positively reflect on the kingdom’s tourism scene by doubling inbound tourism flows and revenues.





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