The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority hosted a media roundtable today to announce the latest tourism statistics in celebration of the United Nations World Tourism Organization ‘World Tourism Day’ held this year under the theme of “Accessible Tourism”.

The media roundtable was held on the sidelines of the ‘Moroccan Bahraini Handicraft Week’ and was attended by representatives from hotels, travel agencies, tour guides and other industry representatives.

intl-tourismThe event kicked off by a video message from the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Mr Taleb Rifai, where he highlighted the importance of accessible tourism for people with disabilities stating that it is crucial that destinations develop universal accessibility measures.

“We are more than happy to celebrate the World Tourism Day and disclose the latest tourism statistics which highlights the growth of the tourism industry in Bahrain. Today we reveal the latest statistics following a survey conducted jointly between the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BETA) and Informatics and eGovernment Authority,” said BETA Chief Executive, Shaikh Khalid bin Humood Al Khalifa.

Shaikh Khalid bin Humood Speaking
Shaikh Khalid bin Humood Speaking

“Number of travelers into the Kingdom of Bahrain increased by 10% in 2015 when compared to the statistics in 2014; in 2015 alone we received around 11.6 million tourists while in 2014 we received 10.4 million visitors,” he said.

Hotel occupancy reached 52% in 2015 when compared to 50% in 2014 and 45% in 2013. Also total hotel stays in Bahrain increased to 3.13 million in 2015 when compared to 2.09 million in 2014.

“Average tourist spends per day by reached BD110 in 2015 and we aim to increase it to BD136 by 2018. Our efforts are exerted to diversify the target audience. We have recently joined alliances with ‘Cruise Arabia’ further promoting Bahrain as a destination for cruises. Other recent initiatives include the launch of representative’s offices for BETA in seven countries such as Germany, China, Russia and France. The aim is to reach to a wide audience,” said Shaikh Khalid.

The media roundtable also included a question and answer session and an entertainment show staged by the Bahraini and Moroccan folklore band.