Bahrain’s tourism market, which currently comprises approximately 6 per cent of GDP, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8 per cent, reaching US$1 billion by 2020. The hotels and restaurants sector was the fastest growing sector in the Kingdom for the past two years, expanding by 10 per cent in 2014 and by 7.3 per cent in 2015. Bahrain attracted a total of 11.6 million tourists in 2015, up 11 per cent from the previous year.
Jerad Bachar, Executive Director of Tourism and Leisure at the Economic Development Board (EDB), “There is strong investment currently underway in Bahrain’s tourism sector, stemming from both private and public sector sources. There is investment throughout the tourism ecosystem including accommodation, technology, ground transportation, airport infrastructure, and retail centres. The recently launched tourism brand identity “Ours. Yours. Bahrain” has been launched to build the overall awareness of Bahrain as a tourism destination. Through collaboration with the greater tourism community, we aim to increase the country’s competitiveness and increase the economic contribution from tourism to the GDP.”
Bahrain is home to 120 hotels including high quality brands such as Four Seasons and The Ritz-Carlton with more than ten five-star and four-star hotels under development. The development of the tourism industry in Bahrain is a priority, and is one of the major elements in the Kingdom’s plans to further diversify its economy.
Bahrain is investing heavily in large infrastructure projects which will have direct benefits to the sector, including the US$1 billion Bahrain International Airport Modernisation Programme. Other development projects driven by recent investment include the Avenues Mall and the One and Only Resort and Spa, both currently under construction.
The Kingdom of Bahrain has developed a comprehensive calendar of local, regional, and international events and exhibitions held throughout the year. These include The Gulf Air Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix, The Spring of Culture Festival, Shop Bahrain Festival, and various consumer exhibitions.