The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) continues to work towards establishing a strong foothold in the Northern European tourism market. Efforts to draw in more visitors from the region commenced this year with its participation at the Matka Nordic Travel Fair in Helsinki, Finland.
Held from January 15 to 19, 2020, the latest edition marked the second consecutive year that SCTDA joined the premier global travel event. In 2020, the Authority showcased Sharjah’s range of diverse tourism offerings – from world-class hotels to exciting adventures and other fun activities to special packages and promos – which are expected to appeal to the Northern European travellers.
The five-day Matka Nordic Travel Fair is the largest travel and tourism exhibition in Northern Europe, an important source market for Sharjah’s tourism sector. More than 50,000 visitors and about 20,000 tourism and travel agencies attend the annual international gathering.
According to SCTDA, the Matka Nordic Travel Fair is an opportunity for the Authority to boost awareness of Sharjah’s beauty and hospitality and what the emirate has to offer as one of the GCC’s top tourist destinations. SCTDA delegates will take advantage of the travel fair’s popularity to directly engage with a large percentage of international tourists.
Furthermore, SCTDA will display Sharjah’s major hospitality projects launched to help fast-track the industry’s development and global competitiveness. Over the next five years, for instance, the number of hotel rooms in the city is expected to increase by 50 per cent, supporting the influx of visitors to the emirate. A total of 34 new hotel facilities with up to 5,700 rooms will be added to the existing numbers within the period.
Besides Sharjah’s large-scale hospitality developments and unique tourism products, SCTDA will also give emphasis on its key strategies to promote Sharjah as a year-round global destination for family holidays. H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said, “As the largest tourism and travel exhibition in Northern Europe, the Matka Nordic Travel Fair is a significant and strategic platform for us at SCTDA to showcase the emirate’s diverse range of tourism products for visitors and companies in the region. Our participation is part of our continuous efforts to raise Sharjah’s profile as a leading destination that attracts all kinds of tourists from all over the world.”
The emirate is known for its world-class hotel services, modern tourism infrastructure, and exciting activities, among others. Its eco-tourism segment is also steadily rising in popularity thanks to the government’s intensified enhancements of the local eco-tourism offerings and relevant promotional initiatives. International hospitality institutions have been flocking to the local market over the years to capitalise on its immense growth opportunities amid the vibrant domestic tourism. Tourism is a key pillar of the government’s economic diversification initiative. Sharjah welcomed more than 578,000 European travellers in 2018, up 24 per cent from 468,034 tourists recorded in 2017.
Joining the SCTDA delegates in the global event are the executives of the Sharjah International Airport Authority, Sharjah Expo, Environment and Protected Areas Authority, Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa, Radisson Blu Resort Sharjah, Coral Beach Hotel, The Act Hotel, Orient Tours, Wasel Tours and TravTalk magazine.