Bahrain tourism sector tops targets; revenue hits $4bn


Bahrain’s tourism sector last year exceeded targets set under its 2022-26 tourism strategy, Tourism Minister Fatima bint Jaffer Al Sairafi has said.

Tourism revenues topped BD1.5 billion ($3.98 billion) in 2022, an increase of 50 per cent compared to the target figure for the same year, which stood at BD1 billion, said the minister chairing the board meeting of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) last month.

She stressed the importance of harnessing all efforts to achieve more tourism successes during the next stage in order to reach the goals of the economic recovery plan, a Bahrain News Agency report said.

According to the 2022 statistics, the number of visitors arriving for tourism purposes reached 9.9 million, up by 19 per cent over the target number of 8.3 million visitors.

The average daily expenditure of tourists exceeded the target number by 10 per cent, with a record of BD76 per visitor, compared to a target average expenditure of BD69. The average duration of stay for tourists exceeded the target number of 3.3 days, recording 3.5 days, which represents an increase of more than 6 per cent.

BTEA Chief Executive Officer Dr Nasser Qaidi said inbound tourism in Bahrain has recovered during the year 2022 by 90 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels, outperforming the international recovery rate, which was estimated by the World Tourism Organization at a rate of 65 per cent.

Dr Qaidi highlighted the implemented tourism projects, including the approved schedule for cruise ships for the 2023 season, and the results of the Bahrain holiday season, which was launched last December.

He highlighted BTEA’s preparations related to the Gulf Air Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, which will be held at the Bahrain International Circuit from March 3 to 5.

He underlined efforts to restore the wedding tourism momentum in Bahrain, highlighting cooperation with partners to host 14 weddings in the first quarter of this year.