Al Midfa:16 per cent increase in Emirate’s hotels guests from India in 2015
Date Published: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) participated in the OTM Mumbai as part of the UAE delegation under the umbrella of the National Council for Tourism and Antiquities, from February 18 to 20. The exhibition, one of the largest specialized travel and tourism shows in India, attracted a large number of entities from the tourism and travel industry from the region and the world. His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Authority, said the Indian market is one of the five largest exporters of tourists to Sharjah. He said in 2015 hotel facilities in the emirate recorded more than 157,000 hotel guests from India, registering an increase of 16 per cent compared to the year 2014, when the emirate received 136,000 hotel guests. HE Al Midfa said hotel guests of Indian nationality accounted for 8.8 per cent of the total guests in the emirate’s hotels in 2015, compared to 6.6 per cent in 2014. Air Arabia contributed to the growth by increasing the accessibility to Sharjah with 112 flights from 13 Indian cities, he added. HE Al Midfa pointed out that SCTDA pays special attention to the Indian market and is keen to participate in specialized travel and tourism exhibitions in the country. The Authority has also been organising annual roadshows in a number of Indian cities to introduce the latest developments in the emirate’s tourism industry and promote its major projects, facilities and attractions, he said. HE Al Midfa stated that Sharjah has become one of the favourite destinations for Indian tourists in view of its cultural tourism products, which are suitable for the entire family. The emirate offers a sophisticated tourism infrastructure, including resort facilities, shopping centres and leisure facilities, and organizes leading international festivals and family events, he said. He stated that SCTDA is keen to be a part of the roadshows and international exhibitions organized by the National Council for Tourism and Antiquities, which has contributed to opening new horizons for the promotion of the emirate of Sharjah, and helped enhance tourism cooperation between the UAE and the emirate. HE Al Midfa held a number of meetings, notably with HE Sultan Mohammed bin Khadem, the Chargé d'affaires in UAE Consulate in India, and HE Ahmed Al Falahi, Commercial and Trade Attache at the UAE Embassy in India. He also met the Minister of Tourism and Sports in Thailand, as well as a number of decision makers and representatives from tourism and travel companies, and briefed them on the latest developments in the tourism industry in Sharjah and the Authority’s future plans to enhance services offered to visitors based on highest international standards. SCTDA organized last December a roadshow and workshops with decision makers of tourism industry in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Kochi, which received overwhelming response from the travel and tourism companies and experts in the tourism sector and businessmen in the Indian market. The Sharjah delegation included a number of public and private stakeholders in the tourism sector in the emirate.