Bahrain hotels cut rates for F1 season
Manama, April 2, 2013
Bahrain's four-star hotels have slashed room rates from a maximum of BD90 ($235) to as low BD50 per night during the upcoming Formula 1 season in bid to attract visitors, a top official said.
All four-star properties were sprucing up their facilities ahead of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, taking place at the Bahrain International Circuit on April 19, 20 and 21, Bahrain Four Stars Hotel Committee chairman Hameed Al Halwachi told our sister newspaper, the Gulf Daily News (GDN).
While many hotels had not yet received bookings, they were hoping to get some immediately after the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, which starts this weekend, Al Halwachi said
"Unlike last year, when we had a lot of last-minute bookings, this year it is expected to be more organised," said. "We have no bookings yet but these will pick up soon."
"In Bahrain, since most visitors are from the region, very few will stay overnight but we are looking to attract them with special offers," he said.
"Bahrain has a lot to offer for its regional and international guests and we will attempt to make sure we do our bit in promoting those attractions."
Al Halwachi said all hotels, particularly four-star hotels, had suffered considerably in the last few years due to the lack of visitors in the wake of the unrest.
"We have picked up somewhat but have not started doing very well yet," he said. "The hotels did fairly good business during last year's Formula One but this time we hope to do better."
Delmon Hotel sales and marketing manager Krishna Shetty, whose group also runs the three-star Adhari and Aradous Hotels in Manama, said so far there had been no bookings for the F1 weekend.
"Manama is not attracting any business, except in five-star hotels," he said. "The four-star hotels are also struggling to cope in the area."
However, Shetty said, closer to the Formula One weekend, they will have more people coming in. "We are all banking on a rush of visitors for the three days and we hope to capitalise."
Despite the lack of interest, Five Star Hotels executive committee chairman Abdulnabi Daylami said its establishments had received an encouraging number of advance bookings for the F1 weekend.
"We are expecting a very good performance this year as compared to the last year," he said. "Last year was good business but this year promises to be better than that."
Daylami said room rates were no different from those last year. "All the five star properties are offering a base rate of around BD150 to BD160 per night," he added.
The committee is also planning a series of initiatives and events for the summer following the F1. "These promotions are an ongoing exercise through which we aim to attract more visitors," he said.
A representative of Bahrain's Taxi and Pick Up Drivers Union also hopes to do brisk business. "Taxis in Bahrain have always had good business during international events and the Formula One is the most famous of them all," he said.
"There are so many different nationalities coming to Bahrain, it is good for us we are ready to receive them and enhance Bahrain's image as a friendly nation." – TradeArabia News Service
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