Turkiye most popular travel destination for Bahrainis

MORE than 100,000 people are expected to be packing their bags in Bahrain and heading for a summer vacation abroad in 2022, according to tourism insiders.

Bahrainis will be looking for cooler climates or value-for-money breaks and expats will be visiting family and friends for annual treks back home ... postponed for many in the past two years because of the pandemic.

Families are rushing to travel agencies to book trips with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkiye amongst the most popular destinations, closely followed by the UK and other European countries, the Far East and the US.

Travellers joining the late June, July and August exodus have been urged, however, to check the validity of their passports, as well as visa requirements, to avoid disappointment.

The six months passport validity requirement to enter and return appears to have caught out many people with an avalanche of new passport submissions landing on the desks at the Interior Ministry’s Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs.

Bahrain Holidays, which represents a coalition of more than 130 travel agencies offering group trips, managing director and chief executive Mahmood Al Kadhem said many are being caught out by the requirements ... particularly those booking at the last moment.

“Many families come to agencies, or book online, without realising that their passports have to be valid for at least six months and that some countries need a visa applied for in advance,” he said.

“This causes disruption for the families who then have either to cancel, or reschedule, as they wait for their passports to be renewed.

“The Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs is already under pressure to get passports issued either for newborn babies, replacements or planned renewals that usually occur during this time, every year, and this last-minute rush adds to the load.”

He added that many families could have avoided the headache if they have simply checked their passports in advance.

“This may be the first trip for families since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. It appears many haven’t thought about checking whether their passports were near expiry or expired because they are so excited about getting away,” said Mr Al Kadhem, who is also Al Kadhem Transport Tourist Travels board vice-chairman and partner.

“As travel agents, we’re expecting more than 100,000 to travel between June and August, returning before schools start in September.

“Top destinations are Turkiye, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan and Georgia, amongst other countries such as the UK, other European countries, the Far East and the US.”

It is also worth checking pandemic restrictions and requirements still in place in several countries around the globe, such as the wearing of face masks inside and out and carrying specific Covid-19 travel insurance policies in popular destinations such as Thailand.

The UK has leapt up the charts of chosen destinations because this month Bahrain was granted ‘electronic visa waiver status’.

It allows the holder to travel to the UK without obtaining a visa provided they complete an online waiver for each visit. A small fee is applied, and it is faster than applying for a visa as there is no need to provide biometric information (photo and fingerprints), attend a visa application centre or submit a passport ahead of travel.

Bahrain Travel and Tourism Association board of trustees chairman Jehad Amin, who is also House of Travel owner and managing director, urged people to check their passports well in advance of travelling.

“It is true, current projections indicate more than 100,000 people are set to travel in June, July and August with Turkiye topping the destinations with 25 weekly flights on multiple airlines,” he stressed.

“That number could be higher if people listen to the advice of checking the validity of their passports. Even if they have no plans to travel, checking your family’s passports only takes seconds, and renewal in Bahrain can be done online, although due to the sudden rush for the service it takes up to 10 days to receive new ones, I’m informed.”

The ministry had not responded by the time the GDN went to Press.


Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/1115076/Turkiye-most-popular-travel-destination-for-Bahrainis


Share this page Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linkedin

Discover the 'Made in France à Bahrain' Guide

'Made in France à Bahrain' - Edition 2021
is YOUR guide to the economic presence in Bahrain. Click here to view the online guide