Bahrain GP claims half a billion boom

A report by the Godo Research & Marketing Consultancy in Dubai, commissioned by the Bahrain Grand Prix, suggests that the economic impact of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on the local economy was $548m. This figure is believed to include air fares, hotels, and expenditure while the visitors were in the country. The report said that there were 22,500 overseas visitors, mainly from the Middle East and they were spending an average of $1,356 per day. Accommodation accounted for 52% of all personal expenditure.

A survey of 66 hotels and resorts showed occupancy over the Grand Prix period at 75-100%, with 5-star hotels at capacity and a dramatic 30% increase in trade for three-star hotels and resort accommodation, in comparison to the rest of the year. Premium prices were demanded across the board by hotel owners, price hikes averaging 15% increases on normal rates. In the four-star hotels, however, the price hike was a significant 30% and there was a drop in occupancy rates.

"It's abundantly clear from the figures that one group in particular is missing the boat when it comes to the Grand Prix success story, and that is the mainstream hotels," said Martin Whitaker of the Bahrain International Circuit. "By raising their prices so dramatically, the four-star hotels in particular are clearly losing customers, either to five-star hotels that can better justify the expense, or to more basic but cost-effective accommodation."

According to the figures the sale of tickets raised $10.8m and racegoers spent an additional $33.5m on merchandise, food, drink and other items at the circuit. In addition the event brought in a projected $7.9m through TV rights, commissions, facility rentals, sponsorship referrals and catering commissions.

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