Eid windfall for Bahrain hotels
Manama, November 2, 2012
Luxury hotels in Bahrain have reported a surge in business during the Eid Al Adha break, as people poured in from neighbouring countries to celebrate the holiday.
Occupancy rate at five-star hotels was double that of last year with authorities reporting an influx of 271,785 visitors between October 25 and Wednesday, according to a report in our sister publication the Gulf Daily News.
That is an increase of 49,697 on the week of October 11 to 17, when 222,088 visitors entered the country.
The overwhelming majority of people coming to Bahrain during the week of Eid came across the King Fahad Causeway from Saudi Arabia.
The Interior Ministry recorded a total of 223,887 visitors coming across the causeway between October 25 and Wednesday.
Gulf Hotel manager and Bahrain Five-Star Hotels Committee member Abdulla Siddiq Al Awadhi said the country's plushest hotels saw 74 per cent occupancy during Eid.
This compares to just 38 per cent occupancy during the same occasion last year, which means there was almost a 100 per cent increase in guests.
He revealed the Gulf Hotel's occupancy rate almost doubled from 44 per cent last year to 82 per cent this year.
Shop sales at its hotels also doubled during the three days of Eid and its restaurants were fully booked, he said.
Al Awadhi said the increase in visitors signalled that confidence was returning in Bahrain as a tourism destination.
"The security situation in Bahrain affected last year's occupancy levels, but since the situation is better the occupancy levels increased and people feel better about coming to the kingdom," he said.
Al Areen Palace and Spa reported that it was fully booked during the three days of Eid, with its villas accommodating more than 75 families.
Meanwhile, hotel representative Frances Villarosa said its restaurants attracted 500 to 600 guests a day in that period.
"Compared to 2011, this year has been a very good year for Al Areen Palace and Spa as well as the rest of the hotels and resorts in Bahrain," Villarosa said.
Kempinski Grand and Ixir Hotel, Bahrain City Centre, was almost full from October 24 to the end of Eid, reporting a 98 per cent occupancy rate.
"Having just recently celebrated the first anniversary since the opening of the hotel, the high occupancy level demonstrates that the hotel has now firmly established itself as the favourite destination for leisure and business travellers alike," said public relations manager Sari Mabire.
She said visitors who checked in came from across the Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, and it had to extend the opening hours of a cafe until 1am. – TradeArabia News Service