Bahrain Tourism Exhibition Authority (BTEA) is confident of setting new records in the number of Indian weddings and the revenue earnings from the Indian wedding business to Bahrainâ€™s economy this year. Bahrain has played host to more than 17 big Indian weddings between April 2017 and 2019, receiving about 6,000 Indian guests and contributing USD 22 million to Bahrainâ€™s economy. The Kingdom of Bahrain had recognised Wedding Tourism as a potential segment in 2016 and started promoting the Kingdom as a preferred Wedding Destination in the region through a dedicated incentive programme called Island Weddings Bahrain since April 2017.
India has been a target source market for Wedding Tourism for Bahrain ever since they launched the programme, says Dr. Ali Follad, Tourism Advisor, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority. â€œWe are confident of setting records in Indian destination weddings by fourth quarter of this year and first three months of 2020,â€� he Follad said.
High-quality hotels and resorts, professional DMCs, very good connectivity offered by national carrier Gulf Air, and complete hand-holding by BTEA all works to the advantage of Bahrain as a wedding destination. â€œWhat we offer to our wedding guests is unique partnership. BTEA acts as eyes and ears of the wedding organisers from the time they come scouting for destination. We offer complimentary visa, arrange special rates from the airlines, take them to the right hotel, arrange professional DMCs, etc. so that they feel confident and at the same time relaxed. No other destination offers such seamless service. We are much focused and therefore have been very successful,â€� he said.
As far as wedding locations are concerned, Follad said that beach destinations are the most sought-after wedding location for Indians, however, Bahrain has diverse of locations which they can offer to the satisfaction of wedding groups. â€œBahrain is a cosy island destination with lot of history, heritage, friendly people and rich hospitality,â€� he informed.
Follad said that Bahrain understands Indian culture because of long historic relationship. â€œWe also have a very strong Indian community which is part of the countryâ€™s social fabric. We are a very open society,â€� he informed.
In order to promote Bahrain as a wedding destination, BTEA would explore going into smaller cities in the country to promote and showcase its destination wedding prowess, he said. â€œWe already participate in two B2B and 2 B2C events in India to promote Wedding Tourism,â€� he informed.