Bahrain: Hotels are reporting a surge in bookings this weekend as teams and fans snap up rooms for the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
Four and five-star hotels are anticipating occupancy rates of 75 percent to 100 percent between Thursday and Sunday, providing a welcome boost to the tourism sector.
Prices for a room are around 10 percent to 20 percent higher this weekend from the higher demand.
“This time of the year, the hospitality sector gets a mega boost with thousands of visitors coming to attend the F1 race,” said Bahrain Four Stars Hotel Committee Chairman Hameed Al Halwachi.
“Based on feedback from the industry, we are expecting between 75 percent to 85 percent in four-star hotels this weekend – which will increase to 100 percent in some outlets,” added Al Halwachi.
He said not all of those arriving in Bahrain were traveling just for the race, with some visitors attracted by the array of entertainment that accompanies Formula One.
“A key reason for an increase in bookings is the concerts lined up as part of the off-track entertainment this year featuring leading music artists,” added Al Halwachi.
He also predicted hotels would not be the only segment of the tourist industry that would benefit from increased business.
The Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, one of the latest additions to Bahrain’s luxury hotel sector, is reporting “very healthy occupancy” this weekend.
“This is our second Formula One season since we opened last March and we could not be happier to see the hotel’s occupancy already close to full house,” said sales and marketing director Mohammed Barakat.
The three-day Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit starts with a practice session on Friday, followed by qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.
It will be the second round of the FIA (International Automobile Federation) Formula One World Championship.