April 10, 2016
The Economic Development Board (EDB) led a delegation to India to promote the Kingdom to destination managements companies (DMC), tour operators, and event organisers. The delegation included local stakeholders in the tourism sector Gulf Air and @Bahrain.
The delegation visited Delhi and Mumbai to present Bahrain’s unique tourism value proposition to leading businesses in India’s travel sector. As part of this, the delegation held informal networking sessions that enabled Indian tour operators to meet their Bahraini counterparts and explore new business ventures in the Kingdom. Representatives from the EDB also conducted a briefing workshop for the delegation where they discussed best practices in attracting clients from India as well as ways of developing products and services that cater to this vast market.
Jerad Bachar, Executive Director – Tourism & Leisure, Bahrain EDB, said:
“With its rich history and culture, attractive liberal lifestyle, comprehensive list of international events taking place throughout the year, and proximity to India, Bahrain has a lot to offer visitors from the subcontinent. Bahrain has economic, political and cultural ties with India that stretch back thousands of years. This shared history means that Bahrain is a natural choice for Indians looking to experience and enjoy Middle Eastern culture hospitality.
“We look forward to meeting with some of India’s leading tour operators and helping them to launch new business ventures in the Kingdom.”
Bahrain hosts an array of international events annually that attract visitors from the region, such as the ‘Spring of Culture’, and ‘Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix’.
Only a three and half hour flight away, Bahrain is connected to India with 70 flights a week and visitors from the subcontinent to Bahrain have been steadily increasing every year. In 2015, nearly 1.2 million visitors from India arrived in the Kingdom. Today, there are over 350,000 Indians living and working in Bahrain, and the Indian community has 32 registered and 68 unregistered socio-cultural organisations in the Kingdom.
India has become one of the world’s fastest-growing outbound travel markets, with leisure travel and business events (Meetings, Incentives, Congresses and Exhibitions) making up the largest contributors to India’s outbound tourism. The EDB is leveraging the strength of its India based offices to establish partnerships between Bahrain based companies and India’s outbound tour operators and event organisers in order to increase business from the subcontinent.
Bahrain’s tourism revenues grew by 17.4% between 2013 and 2014 with around 13.2 million people choosing to visit the Kingdom in 2015. The hotels and restaurants sector was the fastest growing sector in 2014, expanding by 10%. In total, the tourism sector contributes around 4.1% to Bahrain’s GDP.