On the third day of the Arabian Travel Market Dubai, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority released the first quarter statistics for Year 2014 showing remarkable growth in the tourism sector during the first quarter of this year compared to the sector’s performance during the same period last year.
The first three month statistics have shown a noticable increase in the hotel occupancy with the total number of hotel guests just touching 600,000 against 515,947 guests last year. With hotel apartments recording similar increased, Sharjah has registered healthy 15 per cent increase in visitors over the same period last year.
According to the statistics released by the Authority on Wednesday, tourists from Europe are the top tourism generating destination bringing in over 251,000 visitors. As always Sharjah welcomed large numbers from visitors the neighbouring Gulf states. The new focus in Asia is also starting to pay dividends this quarter with over 71,000 visitors arriving from Asia in the first three months of this year.
Sharjah currently has nearly 10,000 rooms. With a number of new hotels opening and investments pouring into new projects, the Authority confidently expects the number of hotel rooms to rise to 12,000 in the next two of years.
Commenting on the first quarter statistics, HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, said that these positive results reflect the impressive growth witnessed by the tourism sector in the Emirate. It reflects the success of the approach adopted in harmony with its vision for the future to upgrade and bolster the tourism sector in order to attract more tourists and investors to the Emirate.
The SCTDA Chairman said that the Authority is keen to showcase Sharjah in major specialized exhibitions and forums around the world to fully benefit from the latest developments and advancements in the industry. These events are always a good platform to connect with leaders of the travel and tourism industry in order to exchange expertise and collaborate in the development of the tourism sector in the Emirate as well as promoting it at various levels, he added.
Al Noman emphasized the importance of the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, which has emerged as the region’s most prominent tourism event, and is taking place at a time when travel and tourism and hospitality sectors at regional and international levels are showing tremendous growth. The ATM always enables us to present Sharjah’s tourism product authentic cultural heritage experience with global markets.
The Sharjah pavilion at the ATM Dubai this year celebrates the authentic Arab and Islamic heritage of the Emirate. With a distinct, contemporary look, the 558-square metre Sharjah stand represents and reflects the various facets of Sharjah’s tourism industry, its tourist attractions, projects and renowned international festivals and events hosted by the Emirate throughout the year. Visitors to the stand are treated to traditional Emirati hospitality. They can collect brochures and promotional literature about Sharjah in Arabic and English.
Headed by the SCTDA, the Sharjah delegation includes senior leaders and representatives of Shurooq (Sharjah Investment and Development Authority), Sharjah Airport Authority, Air Arabia, Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPPA), Sharjah Museums Department, Hotel 72 By Hues, Hilton Sharjah, Radisson Blu Resort, Hotel Holiday International, Ramada Hotel, Oceanic Hotel and Resort Khorfakkan, Royal Grand Hotel, Expo Novotel Hotel, Al Hamrah Group, Al Khalidiah Tourism, Al Maha Regency Suite, Al Bustan Group, Cozmo Travel, and Lou Lou’a/Sharjah Premier Group etc.