This chapter includes the following articles.
After a difficult year in 2011, the return of the Formula 1 (F1) Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix in late April 2012 signalled a possible turning point for the country’s tourism sector – a sign that, perhaps, things are now on a path towards renewed growth after what has been, by all accounts, a difficult year. However, not all of the Kingdom’s tourism segments were affected, nor have the fundamental strengths that have made it a leading destination for business travel been damaged. Indeed, Bahrain’s performance and outlook as a site for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) remains a bright spot for the country. Business tourism has traditionally proven less sensitive to negative publicity than other forms of tourism, and MICE tourism in Bahrain has remained strong over the past year. Indeed, tourism has been identified as key to economic diversification, according to the Kingdom’s long-term development plan, Economic Vision 2030. This chapter includes an interview with Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, the Minister of Culture.