Bahrain F1 success spurs big projects call
Manama, April 9, 2014
Bahrain should aim to bring in another "mega-project" such as the Formula One, said a top businessman.
Figures released by the Culture Ministry showed hotel occupancy rates rose by 15 per cent during the F1 weekend, compared to last year, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
It is an encouraging sign and should lead to bigger projects in the pipeline, said Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive committee member Khalid Al Ameen.
"We should have another mega-project like the Formula One," he told the GDN.
"We should start moving toward more and more tourism, because it is reviving the country.
"Bahrain has been busy for the past 18 months, with the F1, Spring of Culture, air show, conventions and conferences.
"We want everybody's spirits to be positive and attract more people through business and connections.
"We need to work together or nothing will get done.
"It will reflect in our salaries at the end of the day, and we will all witness the growth."
Al Ameen said the increase in occupancy did not just positively affect hotels, but the entire service industry.
"You speak about all the service providers, food, and logistics. Everybody is involved," he said.
"A 15 per cent increase means everybody is 15pc better off than last year, because companies work and supply hotels.
"Frankly, I hope to see it at 100pc next year - and if it continues on like this, we will.
"We should bank on this and do more.
"After a few years we'll need even more hotels.
"It's very promising, and we should start planning and having strategies for the next five years.
"If we're going to go on this rhythm, we're going to have to have more service providers and more companies to keep up with the demand."
The Culture Ministry earlier revealed occupancy rates for five-star hotels rose to 87 per cent this year, up from 72.6 per cent last year.
Rates for four-star hotels also increased to 86 per cent, up from 70.7 per cent in 2013.
"It has a direct impact on the economy, especially the tourism sector," the ministry's tourism affairs assistant under-secretary Shaikh Khalid bin Humood Al Khalifa said yesterday.
"As you see, there's a 15 per cent increase since last year and this will have a domino effect on the economy.
"It will increase the profit for malls, restaurants, car rentals and taxis.
"All of these industries will profit from the increase in occupancy."
Shaikh Khalid said Bahrain's economy was getting stronger every year.
"The revenues in general are increasing year by year in tourism," he said.
"This is sustainable development in the tourism sector.
"We want to see this continue throughout the year, not just during the Formula One.
"We are now in the finalising stages of a Bahrain Calendar website.
"Its aim is to show Bahrain isn't a seasonal destination, but a year-round one.
"All the events, cultural, sports, everything that happens will be there.
"We are currently working to organise between different government sides and private sector to ensure that there is a confluence of events throughout the year.
"We congratulate the Bahrain International Circuit for the 10th anniversary. "They have set a high benchmark and hopefully will continue developing better races." - TradeArabia News Service