TTME JUNE 2018-PG-18

SCTDA lauded as visitors throng to Sharjah hotels

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) revealed at ATM 2018, that Sharjah hotels recorded an occupancy growth rate of 70% in 2017 following the government’s tourism campaigns and initiatives.

TT Bureau

The occupancy rate of Sharjah hotels attained 70 per cent last year, indicating an exponentially rising number of regional and global travellers visiting the emirate. Commenting on the results, H E Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, said, “Last year’s positive developments were the results of the initiatives to transform the emirate into one of the world’s leading family destinations in line with the directives of H H Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and in support of Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021 which seeks to attract over 10 million visitors to Sharjah shores by 2021. Our intensive tourism campaigns hit its targets in 2017, further boosting the local tourism sector and enhancing its reputation at the local, regional and global levels.”
He further added, “Our strong performance last year helped catapult Sharjah into the ranks of the most innovative and competitive cities in the world. Our continuing achievements and successes are proof of the emirate’s capability to provide an exceptional travel experience as well as high potential to attract tourists from around the world. Furthermore, Sharjah is famous among travellers who want to explore ancient monuments, with visitors from Russia, China and different parts of the globe descending on the emirate to experience its beauty and rich traditions. All of these are helping drive our economic, social, cultural and environmental growth.”
In 2017, SCTDA said that Sharjah welcomed 1.7 million visitors who stayed in 102 accommodations, 56 of which were hotels and 46 were hotel apartments. Hotels and hotel apartments generated AED 694 million in revenue during the same period, up from AED 668 million in 2016. Hotels accounted for about 75 per cent of the total revenue receipts.
The new statistics showed a remarkable increase in the number of Russian tourists at 26,6068 following the move to allow visa on arrival entry to the UAE. Additionally, the number of Chinese tourists during the same period accounted for a massive 45 per cent of the total visitors, while the number of European tourists climbed at an unprecedented rate of 36 per cent.

Launch of new website
Stepping up in its efforts to consolidate the emirate’s position as an ideal global tourist destination SCTDA launched its new website VisitSharjah.com at the recently concluded Arabian Travel Market. As the emirate of Sharjah is steadily going towards its goal to drive 10 million tourists to the emirate SCTDA lauded as visitors throng Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) revealed at ATM 2018, that Sharjah hotels recorded an occupancy growth rate of 70% in 2017 following the government’s tourism campaigns and initiatives. Sharjah is famous among travellers who want to explore ancient monuments, with visitors from Russia, China and different parts of the globe descending on the emirate to experience its beauty and rich traditions. The launch of this new website will support to position the emirate as a global destination for tourists and will allow local, regional and international tourists to learn more about what Sharjah has to offer, from essential destinations to exciting activities catering to all types of travellers.
Midfa commented, “We are proud to announce the launch of the VisitSharjah.com, consolidating Sharjah’s position as a ‘mustsee must-visit’ tourist destination. The new website will help increase awareness about the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and innovative services, which in turn, will reinforce its growing reputation as a highly preferred destination for millions of visitors from around the world.”
Midfa added, “The website allows visitors to plan their itineraries prior to arrival in a bid to make their experience in Sharjah exceptional from start to finish. Through this website, we are looking to introduce our visitors to the emirate’s distinctive touristic attractions and highlight what makes Sharjah one of the leading cultural, adventure and family destinations in the UAE.” According to the SCTDA, visitors accessing VisitSharjah.com will be able to plan their itineraries according to their budget and interests. Sharjah’s tourism partners, including hotels, tour operators and restaurant owners can upload and promote their products and services on the dedicated tourism portal within the website. “We intend to adopt the latest technologies to attract more visitors to Sharjah. We reaffirm our commitment to continue to expand our initiatives and development programmes to enhance the local industry,” concluded Al Midfa.

Expansion plans
The tourism sector’s steady expansion in line with Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021 is also the result of SCTDA’s innovative initiatives and tourism programmes launched in cooperation with all concerned institutions, which are also working towards implementing a range of tourism projects to enhance the emirate’s status as the capital of culture.
The Authority has also been rolling out high-quality services and organising distinguished events to showcase Sharjah’s rich history, culture and religious heritage. The emirate continues to maintain its identity and traditions as evidenced by its architectural monuments that not only embody the splendour of Islamic architecture and the history of the country but tell the story of Sharjah and the UAE’s glorious past, bright present and promising future as well.

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