Bahrain needs 'stability' for tourism boost
Stability is the key to boosting the region's tourism sector and further reflect economic confidence, according to Bahrain's travel industry veteran and leading businessman Jamil Wafa.
He said that the kingdom faces challenges and requires serious steps to provide world-class tourist facilities. "Unfortunately, we are not tackling tourism properly," he observed.
"We have the resources yet do not have trained bilingual guides as there are tourists from Germany, France and other countries coming to Bahrain," said the Unitag Group founder and executive chairman Wafa.
His comments came yesterday as the World Travel Service (WTS), a subsidiary of the Unitag Group, signed an exclusive multi-year and multi-country agreement with Sabre Travel Network Middle East chief executive Daniel Naoumovitch, at the Unitag House building in Manama.
"World Travel Service has had a long and successful history in the region. It has successfully managed international corporate travel accounts and achieved much in the travel trade arena," said Naoumovitch.
Wafa said they were strengthening their ties, which date back 25 years, with Sabre to generate passenger traffic from the region via its Global Distribution System, which is used worldwide by airlines and travel agents to register and provide services for its customers.
"Sabre's proven low-fare search capabilities, travel security and mobile solutions have helped us retain our customers," said Wafa.
The businessman stressed that the media played a negative role that affected Bahrain adversely.
"The international media was not portraying the picture in the true sense, when it came to the political arena. This reflected in tourism being affected along with hotels, taxis, airlines and other economic generation areas.
"Unless there is stability, we cannot move on the financial side as there are a number of development projects at a standstill," he pointed out.
The businessman said tourist centres in Bahrain should be clean and well-equipped for travellers to provide them with facilities.
Meanwhile, Naoumovitch said they were "pleased" with the 2012 results hinting at a positive outlook for the region.
"We are growing throughout the region and there is great potential. This is a successful year for us and we are positive and confident," he added.
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