The Gulf island state of Bahrain attracted 3.33 million visitors in 2000, an increase of 9.5 percent over the previous year, newspapers reported Sunday.
Tourism affairs undersecretary Kadhem Rajab, quoted in the Bahrain Tribune, said the figure covered leisure, business and transit travelers as well as those visiting friends in Bahrain. In 1999, such visitors numbered 3.04 million.
"There has been an increase of 8.6 percent in the number of tourism and leisure visitors alone, from 2.64 million in 1999 to 2.86 million in 2000," said Rajab.
Bahrain, the only Gulf Arab state not to export oil, is counting on tourism to diversify sources of revenue. In March, the emirate is due to embark on a one-billion-dollar tourism project to build a string of artificial islands. — (AFP, Manama)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )