Tourism: Bahrain vies to boost sector to 7% of GDP by 2018

Minister says possible flights to Italy by next year

13 October, 18:53

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    (ANSAmed) - ROME, OCTOBER 13 - Bahrain wants to invest in the tourism sector with the objective of making it worth 7% of GDP by 2018 from 3.7% in 2016, the minister for industry, trade and tourism, Zayed Bin Rashid Al Zayani, said Friday in Rome, where he meet with representatives of Italian businesses at an event organized by Confindustria Assafrica & Mediterraneo.

    The small kingdom has a strategy in mind, which was started last year by the government, with the aim of attracting visitors not only from Gulf countries but ''from Europe, Russia, India and China'', he said.

    The minister said Bahrain has opened offices of the authority that promotes tourism in seven countries (Great Britain, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, India, Russia and China). The next step, he said, ''is to expand towards other markets, including Italy, where we hope to open direct flights with our national carried, Gulf Air, by 2018''.

    ''Tourism flows to and from Bahrain are not elevated'' right now, he said. ''The number of visas issued by the Italian embassy is however on the rise'', noted Al Zayani. ''A certain number of tourists are arriving thanks to cruises. Last year - he concluded - we registered the arrival of 100,000 visitors from Italy, second only to Germany''. (ANSAmed).

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