Bahrain’s tourism recovery is being buoyed by significant growth in its MICE sector. This is evident from statistics which show that the amount of exhibition space booked at the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre (BIECC) grew 19% in 2012 (compared to 1.6 million in 2011); the number of exhibitors increased 51% to 3,099 in 2012 compared to 2,047 in 2011; and the number of event visitors improved 46% last year.
The Bahrain Exhibition & Convention Authority (BECA) has reported mammoth 116% hike in the number of exhibitions and conferences staged. This was across 82 events in 2012 compared to 38 in 2011. BECA further reported that BD1.6 million (US$4.25mn) revenue posted in 2012 represented a 34% increase on 2011 figures and anticipated the revival of the exhibition and convention industry witnessed last year would gain further momentum in 2013 and 2014.
To further stimulate the meetings business to Bahrain, the destination is ramping up its participation at the forthcoming Gulf Incentives, Business, Travel and Meetings (GIBTM). The event takes place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 24-26 March 2014.
“Bahrain has recognised the important role the meetings industry will play in the country’s economic revitalisation. Events such as GIBTM provide a platform to further boost the MICE business,” said Lois Hall, GIBTM exhibition manager.
The Kingdom has confirmed it will host 15 GIBTM Hosted Buyers. The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) is another venue highlight, with dedicated conference, meeting and event space capable of handling between 10 and 10,000 guests and track hire also on offer.