In a bid to attract more foreign visitors, the Kingdom of Bahrain has announced a massive reduction in pre-entry visa fees, effective from January 2020.
For a one-year visa, the fee is now 40 Bahraini dinars (Dh400), down from BD85. The fee for five-year visas has been reduced from BD170 to BD60, reported Bahrain's national newspaper, Gulf Daily News.
In December, Manama, the country's capital city, was named Capital of Arab Tourism for 2020. The announcement was made during the 22nd session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism, held in Saudi Arabia's Al Ahsa. On New Year's Eve, BTEA launched a new identity and logo to complement the new designation.
Look inside Bahrain's new boutique hotel that pays tribute to Sheikh Zayed:
Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani, the minister of industry, commerce and tourism and chairman of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, said at the time: "BTEA's strategy focuses on developing unique tourism products through hosting a series of events and activities that target all segments of the society, including families from the GCC and other Arab countries, further contributing to the development of the tourism sector."
He added that in the first nine months of 2019, tourists spent 10.7 million nights on the island, which is an increase of 8.8 per cent compared to the same period of 2018. The average length of stay was 3.4 nights per tourists, up by 20.5 per cent.
A total of 67 countries are eligible to receive a visa on arrival at Bahrain International Airport, according to the eGovernment portal. Passport-holders of a further 114 countries can apply for visas online. A variety of visas are on offer, from a two-week single-entry option to a multiple-entry visa that is valid for one year.