New strategy to bolster tourism’s share in GDP

Bahrain is working to increase the tourism sector’s contribution to GDP, in line with the government’s development plans, said a top minister.

Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Alzayani yesterday made the statement as he announced the new 2022-2026 tourism strategy aimed to diversify the kingdom’s economic portfolio, in parallel with the recently launched Economic Recovery Plan.

He said the tourism sector will aim to increase the total number of tourists to 14.1 million by 2026, the average daily visitor spend to BD74.8 and raise the average tourist’s stay to 3.5 days.

BTEA has already identified a number of top-rated travel agents in the main target markets to help attract more tourists.

“We are on a positive trend and we shouldn’t look backwards, we should look ahead to the future,” said Mr Alzayani. “We need to create a stronger economy and more opportunities for the next generation.

“The strategy gives us a clear road map and it gives us a clear measurement tool to see how well we are progressing.

“It is not the property of the tourism authority; it is the copyright of Bahrain and the whole government.

“Everybody has chipped into it and the private sector plays a pivotal role in our success. The ultimate goal is to expand the reach of tourism as a sector to benefit everybody in Bahrain.

“You don’t have to be a hotel owner to take advantage of this growth and this strategy.

“We want to spread out and we want it to have a ripple effect to many sectors. Today, tourism is a major employer as a sector, whether directly or indirectly, and we feel Bahrain has strong fundamentals to create a bigger tourism sector that will benefit the common citizen or resident of Bahrain.”

The strategy was approved by the Cabinet during its meeting chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, as revealed in the GDN at the end of last month, as part of the efforts of the BTEA to continue focus on making tourism one of the main sectors that contributes to the national economy and diversification of income in line with Bahrain Vision 2030.

The new strategy is a continuation of Bahrain’s inaugural tourism strategy launched for the years 2016-2019 which focused on facilitation of entry, development of tourist attractions, marketing and promotion and providing adequate accommodation to tourists.

And, Destination Pearlywood may not be too much of a stretch of the imagination.

One of the region’s much-loved actresses has already spoken of her desire to film again in Bahrain following the successful shooting of a hit Ramadan drama series.

“I’m so impressed with the Bahraini actors and crew members I have been working alongside that it has encouraged me to plan to work here again,” the Kuwaiti actress, Huda Hussain, told the GDN at the time.




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