Bahrain surges in popularity among tourists
Manama, March 22, 2013
Bahrain has grown in popularity among cruise tourists, said a top industry official, adding that some were initially apprehensive about exploring the country, but the hospitality of its people has helped put it back on the map.
"At the beginning of the season, only about 600 of the nearly 2,000 guests would leave the ship for a land tour. But once word spread that Bahrain was safe for tourists, the numbers went up to about 1,000," German luxury cruise liner Mein Schiff 2 cruise director Doreen Jana Kumpel was quoted as saying by our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
"The rest usually prefer to relax onboard as they think time is too short and do not want to rush through a quick tour."
The Mein Schiff 2, which arrives in Bahrain today for the final time this season, comes after visiting Dubai, Muscat and Abu Dhabi.
The ship docks here for six hours, considered by many as too short.
"Next season, there is no call to Bahrain or any other Gulf country but when we return in the 2014-15 season, we hope to spend at least one whole day in Bahrain to allow the tourists enough time to experience the culture, food, and to know the country better," said Ms Kumpel.
She revealed the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) is one of the favourite destinations among its tourists, whose average age is 50.
"The BIC is always the most charming place as far as German tourists are concerned," said Kumpel.
"Germans love cycling, so when we anchor at any destination, we provide cycles and German-speaking tour guides to allow the tourists to explore the country they are visiting."
More than 800 staff, of 40 nationalities, take care of guests on the seven-deck ship, which has a capacity of around 2,000 tourists.
It features eight restaurants, a pool, spa and fitness centre, a library, reading areas and dance floors and executive and junior suites ranging from BD730 ($1,925) to BD1,460. Tourists usually munch their way through 260 tonnes of food during a week-long tour. – TradeArabia News Service
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