MANAMA: Centro Hotels, a mid-scale brand of UAE-based hotel manager Rotana, could be added to the company’s portfolio in Bahrain within the next three years, its chief operating officer Guy Hutchinson said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Rotana Hotels 2018 GCC Roadshow at the ART Rotana Amwaj Islands, he said the kingdom’s tourism and hospitality sector presents incredible opportunities with an average annual growth rate of three per cent.
The company has an operating portfolio of more than 680 keys in three hotels in the country.
Majestic Arjaan by Rotana, ART Rotana and Downtown Rotana have showcased a consistent performance across key performance indicators, with average occupancy of about 55pc last year, said Mr Hutchinson.
Rotana is also strengthening its partnership with Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority and Gulf Air to step up efforts to promote the country’s tourism sector abroad.
He said as one of the leading markets for tourism and hospitality in the Middle East, Bahrain is already a key focus market for Rotana.
Driven by major investments in the kingdom’s tourism infrastructure and its economic diversification efforts, the country has been witnessing a surge in the number of tourists in recent years.
During the first nine months of 2017, Bahrain welcomed 8.7 million visitors registering a significant jump of 12.8pc compared with the same period the previous year.
Investment in Bahrain’s tourism infrastructure reached more than $13 billion at the end of the third quarter of the past year.
Saudi Arabia is the biggest feeder market for Bahrain’s tourism and leisure sector.
In 2016, visitors from the neighbouring country represented two-thirds of total foreign arrivals.
To further increase visitor footfalls, both countries have planned to build a new road and rail causeway with an estimated cost of $4-$5bn.
“With the massive infrastructure developments taking place in the country, such as the $1.1bn modernisation programme of Bahrain International Airport, and huge hotel pipeline worth over $32bn as part of the kingdom’s vision of adding 15 new hotels to its diverse accommodation and leisure offering by 2020, the tourism and hospitality sector will see a staggering growth in the coming years. Leveraging our strong market presence and diverse service offering, Rotana will seek to further expand our footprint in the country,” added Mr Hutchinson.