MANAMA: Bahrain’s capital Manama was chosen as the ‘Capital of Gulf Tourism’ for the year 2024 during the 7th meeting of the ministers responsible for tourism in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in Oman.
The event took place on October 5 in Jabal Al-Akhdar, organised and hosted by the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism in Oman. The meeting was supervised by GCC Secretariat General.
Bahrain earned this prestigious designation due to its outstanding contributions and discernible impact on elevating the Gulf tourism sector, a Bahrain News Agency report said.
Recognised for its proactive understanding of the significance of tourism as a major non-oil economic contributor, Bahrain’s efforts stood out in promoting collaborative endeavours within the Gulf tourism industry, it said.
Abdulla bin Adel Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce and Acting Minister of Tourism, led the delegation of the Kingdom of Bahrain participating in the ministerial meeting, with the attendance of Dr Nasser Qaedi, CEO of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA).
Dr Qaedi stated: “We take immense pride in this achievement in the Kingdom’s tourism sector, which stands as a testament to a series of successful tourism endeavours at local, regional, and international levels. The Kingdom has positioned the tourism sector at the forefront of its developmental agenda.
“This strategic position acknowledges the sector’s pivotal role in driving the sustainable development. Under this vision, substantial investments have been channeled into expanding tourism infrastructure, refining tourism services, and establishing high-quality facilities. These endeavours are aimed at attracting a greater influx of tourists worldwide.”
Dr Qaedi added: “Collaborating closely with its public and private sector partners, BTEA persistently crafts success stories, aiming to fulfill the ambitious tourism goals outlined in the 2022-2026 strategy.
“This intensive effort has transformed Bahrain into a beacon of adaptability, diversity, and consistent tourism growth within a remarkably brief timeframe.
“This achievement was evident last year when the Kingdom welcomed approximately 10 million tourists, surpassing the targeted numbers by an impressive 20%. We assure our GCC visitors of an exceptional tourism year ahead. We anticipate the launch of several high-quality tourism initiatives and an array of exclusive travel packages tailored for GCC citizens and residents. These offerings are meticulously designed to attract a broader audience, enhancing tourism appeal across all sectors,” he said.
Bahrain remains committed to expand tourism sector, not only within the GCC region but also to bolster its standing as a prominent hub for regional and international tourists. In the coming months, ne and excting tourism initiatives and captivating entertainment festivals will be unveiled, he said.