Tourism revenues ‘set to hit BD2 billion by 2026’

BAHRAIN is expecting its tourism revenues to hit BD2 billion as it gears up to receive around 14 million visitors in 2026.

Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Alzayani said the revenues amounted to BD1.5bn in 2019 as 11m tourists arrived in the country during the year.

He was responding in writing to a question by Mahmood Al Bahrani, a member of Parliament’s financial and economic affairs committee.

“Several key tourism and hospitality projects are part of the kingdom’s strategic plan for 2022 to 2026,” Mr Alzayani said.

“These would help the kingdom attract more visitors and lead to a boost in tourism revenues.

“We are aiming to position Bahrain as an international tourism hub as well as increase the contribution of the industry to the GDP.

“We are also hoping to launch more tourism-related products and services. The new Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre is expected to be completed in the final quarter of 2022 along with Galali Coast Project (7.5 per cent complete), and Bahrain Bay Beach (2pc complete).”

Mr Alzayani highlighted that approvals are being issued for the Diving Waterfront Promenade on Manama’s northern shore – work on which is expected to commence in the third quarter of next year. The promenade is set to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2024.

A total of 11,374,000 tourists visited Bahrain in 2017, 12,044,000 in 2018, 11,061,000 in 2019 and 1,909,000 in 2020.

“Bahrain generated BD1.6bn in tourism income in 2017, BD1.4bn in 2018, BD1.5bn in 2019 and BD300m in 2020,” Mr Alzayani added.

Meanwhile, in response to another question, the minister said a total of 98 violations relating to subsided flour were registered between March 15, 2020 and May 6, 2021 – out of which 69 were settled. Nine were referred to the Public Prosecution while 20 are still under review.

Mr Alzayani had earlier indicated that logistical hurdles and surge in shipping costs – stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic – were responsible for the increase in food prices in Bahrain.

“All these factors will have a direct impact on the price of commodities and consumer goods in the local market, especially in countries like Bahrain that relies heavily on imports,” he said.

“However, multiple initiatives are underway to develop Bahrain’s production sector,” he said in response to a question by MP Dr Hisham Al Asheeri.

He stressed that the ministry would step in if a crisis or an exceptional situation arises in the market leading to an abnormal rise in prices of basic commodities.

“The current economic situation and investment in the food industry are being studied as part of efforts to ensure food security,” Mr Alzayani said.

“A Food Security Projects package was also launched following directives by His Majesty King Hamad with an aim to increase local production.”

He reaffirmed that the ministry has been taking decisions taking into consideration various external and international factors.




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