Alzayani, who is also Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism to the Kingdom of Bahrain, was addressing the China Tourism Forum at Arabian Travel Market (ATM), where he revealed previous plans to establish closer links with the country were scuppered as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
He explained: “We had planned to launch a direct flight to China at the end of 2019, beginning of 2020. That unfortunately was interrupted by Covid, but it’s definitely a priority and at the top of our lead destinations to open.
“We feel that having direct connectivity between China and Bahrain will bolster not just tourism but also commerce and joint investment and joint ventures.
“We welcome working with any of the Chinese airlines to do a codeshare or a hub-and-spoke system within China to connect more cities to where we fly to. That will facilitate ease of travel for the Chinese travellers to go back and forth between China and Bahrain.”
Bahrain launched a new tourism strategy from 2016 aimed at doubling the contribution of the sector to the kingdom’s GDP from about 3.6 percent in 2015 to 6.6 percent by 2020 – this was achieved by the end of 2019.
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