Kingdom tops tourism index

BAHRAIN has ranked first amongst Arab countries and second in Middle East and North Africa (Mena) in ground and port infrastructure in the latest World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Travel and Tourism Development Index.

This means that highly efficient and accessible ground and port transportation to important business centres and tourist attractions is available in the kingdom, according to the index which benchmarks and measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable and resilient development of the travel and tourism sector.

It also notes that port infrastructure that meets international standards of comfort, security and modal efficiency is vital for enabling a travel and tourism economy.

Released during this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the index also highlighted strong placements for the kingdom, including ranking 12th globally in business environment.

The index ranks 117 countries globally on 17 different factors relating to the development and resilience of their travel and tourism industries.

Amongst GCC countries, Bahrain ranked second in the following areas: travel and tourism policy; price competitiveness; prioritisation of travel and tourism; and demand pressure and impact – measured by inbound length of stay, seasonality of international tourist arrivals, interest in cultural and natural attractions, and quality of town and city centres.

“Bahrain’s ranking in the report is another testament to the unique offerings within Bahrain’s tourism sector,” chief executive of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority Dr Nasser Ali Qaedi said.

“The kingdom is increasingly becoming a more attractive destination for tourists and investors alike. With our new tourism strategy, we look forward to seeing the sector contribute more towards the kingdom’s economic growth.”

The new tourism strategy, as part of the Economic Recovery Plan, aims to increase the sector’s GDP contribution to 11.4 per cent, attract 14m tourists by 2026, increase average visitor spending to $198 and average tourist nights to 3.5 days.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has moved 10 places up to the 33rd position in the index.

Saudi Arabia launched its National Tourism Strategy in 2019, aiming to increase the contribution of the tourism sector to 10pc of its gross domestic product, create one million new jobs and attract 100m local and international visits annually by 2030.




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