As the economic development in Bahrain is growing rapidly, tourism in the kingdom is also booming. Bahrain is keen to establish its tourism sector as one of the key drivers of its economic development with ambition to become a tourism hub in the region.
The government has been ambitiously supporting the private sector to invest over $10 billion in tourism and leisure projects which are currently in the pipeline. Of course, later on, those new projects will offer enough rooms at any given time, especially during global events like Formula One Grand Prix. Everyone knows, during F1 season is like during Haj season in Macca, where visitors face difficulties to book even a single room, due to its limited availability and high occupancy in all hotels throughout the country.
Another initiative to complement current inbound-tourism activity is by attracting global seminars, meetings and conferences into the kingdom. Data from Bahrain International and Convention Centre (BIECC) statistics shows a sharp upward trend in term of business and occupancy for conferences in 2007.
The MICE industry (meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition) fetched $280 billion. The ambition to attract more MICE market is not only pioneered by the Ministry of Information and Tourism, but also fully backup by the Economic Development Board who has recently launched the country’s latest destination brand “Business Friendly”. I think Bali and other tourism authorities in Indonesia should learn from this fact.