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Arab tourists are the 'highest spenders' in the region

MANAMA, February 26, 2018

Arab tourists account for the highest bracket of spending in the region with the average spending of a five-day trip totalling at least $4,500, far exceeding the amount spent by foreign tourists for the same trip, which amounts to $300.

The statistics were revealed during an event conducted by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) on the occasion of Arab Tourism Day, to further highlight the importance of the development of inter-Arab tourism.

The event, held under the patronage of the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Zayed Bin Rashid Al Zayani, was attended by several dignitaries in the Arab tourism sector, including Dr. Bandar bin Fahad Al Fuhaid, and the CEO of the Arab Organization for Tourism and the executive chairman of the BTEA, Shaikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa, along with several representatives in the tourism sector including hotels and restaurants. 

Held at the Arcapita building in Bahrain, the event shed light on key action points, outcomes and conclusions that were raised in the former workshop entitled "Challenges and Opportunities for the Tourism Sector", which revolved around several topics, primarily focusing on tourist attractions, accommodation, marketing, and further investment in the tourism sector, specifically marine tourism.  Further to this, the event aimed at stimulating Pan-Arab tourism, in addition to commemorating the Arab traveller Ibn Battuta, along with developing joint Arab tourism programs in order for the Arab region to emerge as a common unified tourist destination.

Commenting on the event, Al Zayani said: "Our celebration of the Arab Tourism Day is part of the keenness of BTEA to tackle regional initiatives aimed at enhancing the tourism sector, which stems from our relentless efforts to achieve great leadership, along with the vision of the kingdom of Bahrain to create a more diversified portfolio of income; gaining independence by allowing the non-oil sectors, such as tourism, to become one of the main sources that contribute to supporting the national economy; thereby contributing to strengthening the status of the kingdom as a leading tourist destination at both regional and international levels.”

The Minister added: "The tourism sector in Bahrain is viewed as one of the leading economic sectors in terms of its contributions to both GDP along with increasing employment rates; in addition to its direct role in achieving sustainable development objectives. The contribution of tourism to the kingdom's GDP has been estimated at 6.8 per cent in 2017, and we plan to increase the proportion of this contribution to the tourism sector in the years to come. According to the latest official statistics, tourism spending in 2017 amounted to more than BD1.6 billion ($4.2 billion) at an annual growth rate of 8.9 per cent.”

Further to this, the CEO of BTEA, Shaikh Khaled, announced the latest tourist developments in the kingdom include an unprecedented growth rate in 2017, with an increase of 1.2 million visitors, while the number of visitors reached 11.4 million, an increase of 11.9 per cent; along with an increase of 1.3 million nights in tourist nights. Further to this, an increase in tourism revenues of BD135 million ($356.6 million) from last year, reaching an estimated BD1.6 billion in 2017.

Shaikh Khaled also pointed out that the number of leisure trips reached about 6.5 million trips, representing 57 per cent of total trips to Bahrain in 2017. Shopping followed close by at 23 per cent, followed by trips to visit family and friends by 9 per cent. Moreover, the percentage of trips for business and conferences was estimated at around 6 per cent, while other purposes (such as health and medical care, education and training, and transit) accounted for 5 per cent of total trips.

Adding to this, he stated: "The Arab Tourism Day is one of the most important regional initiatives aiming to achieve the objectives set out by the BNA, by developing a lot of fruitful investment opportunities in order to enhance the tourism sector, and thereby contribute to supporting the national economy effectively. I would like to invite all institutions working in the private sector to join in coordinating and launching tourism initiatives that will stimulate tourism among Arab countries and develop their various sectors." - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | tourism | arab | Spending | tourists | High |

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