Bahrain’s tourism sector is experiencing a favourable phase of transformation, Tourism Minister Fatima Al Sairafi said, underscoring the remarkable tourism potential across various regions in the kingdom.

She urged all stakeholders to capitalise on the abundant opportunities in the sector, as she held an extensive consultation meeting with the tourism sector’s key stakeholders in the kingdom including private tourism establishments, hotels, hospitality organisations, destination management companies (DMCs), as well as travel agencies.

During the meeting she emphasised the commitment of the ministry and the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA) to enhance the engagement of various tourism facilities in the kingdom to drive further growth in the sector.

She highlighted the pivotal role these establishments play in supporting the ministry and BTEA’s plans, initiatives and programmes. She underscored that these facilities are direct beneficiaries of this growth, emphasising their substantial contributions.

“The dynamic landscape of the tourism industry, coupled with fierce regional and international competition to attract tourists, necessitates a heightened dedication to collaboration and co-operative efforts among all stakeholders in the tourism sector,” Ms Al Sairafi said.

“This collaboration extends across governmental and private entities, with the goal of safeguarding Bahrain’s share of the global and regional tourism market. There is also an emphasis on augmenting this share by concentrating on the unique elements and foundational aspects that define Bahrain’s tourism sector,” the minister said.

BTEA chief executive Dr Naser Qaedi highlighted the strategic plans to develop the existing partnerships between the BTEA and its main partners in the tourism sector.

Dr Qaedi asserted the BTEA’s commitment to provide all kinds of support to its partners, including national calendar licensing and visa support, developing comprehensive marketing plans to promote tourism packages, developing itineraries in collaboration with the DMCs and hotels, and embarking on promoting Bahrain as a tourism destination with the launch of the Bahrain season of festivities starting in October.

Gulf Air Group CEO Dr Jeffrey Goh unveiled an ambitious strategy aimed at strengthening the group’s role in bolstering the tourism sector in Bahrain. He outlined a comprehensive plan encompassing three distinct phases, the inaugural phase of which has recently been initiated. This initial phase centres on promoting Bahrain as a desirable stopover for Gulf Air passengers undergoing lengthy transits.

The aim is to allow these passengers to venture out of the airport for a few hours and relish the attractions of Bahrain, both in terms of tourism and heritage.

Dr Goh elaborated that the second phase, slated for launch in the fourth quarter of this year, will involve the national carrier actively encouraging its passengers and the broader user base of Bahrain Airport to extend their stay by one or two nights in Bahrain. This will be facilitated through collaborative packages, in close partnership with local hotels.

The third phase, according to Dr Goh, revolves around Gulf Air Group positioning Bahrain as a prominent inclusion in the roster of several key tourist cities across the region. This initiative seeks to make Bahrain an integral component of the travel itinerary for tourists who intend to explore multiple countries and cities within the region during their holidays. He further clarified that this phase is set to commence in the first quarter of 2024.

During the meeting, a presentation was made by BTEA director of marketing and promotions Maryam Toorani, highlighting forthcoming events planned by the authority, specially December events.

These include the second edition of Bahrain Holidays and the anticipated Dana Amphitheatre concerts, among other engaging initiatives.

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