New records in growth and occupancy for 2017 excites Sharjah Tourism as it hits new targets heading into the 2017 Arabian Travel Market
Date Published: Monday, April 24, 2017 Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Authority is participating in the ATM for the 20th year and is looking forward to the show with excitement not only due to the significant milestone of attendance, but also due to its latest guest night returns showing hotels in Sharjah are reporting higher occupancy in the first quarter against last year. The Authority has created a strong brand presence in the main areas and is expecting a good vibe with the new stand design, taking elements from its award winning design at ITB Berlin. The Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Authority, HE Khalid Al Midfa said “We always enjoy attending ATM in part because it is a show right on our doorstep, but mainly because it always opens the door to new possibilities and opportunities from new innovations, to new markets and of course the hope of the potential, as new companies pass by with ideas. It is an opportunity to reacquaint with friends and as a member of the UNWTO ministers panel to present and position Sharjah’s message clearly and strongly to a key audience.” The Middle East has been highlighted as a main growth region for tourism with a particular emphasis on the United Arab Emirates. It is expected that numbers at the ATM will be particularly large and Sharjah is confident that the entrance branding and the design and additional elements of the new pavilion will encourage more visitors than usual. Al Midfa further mentioned “As the visitors enter the main ATM atrium, they are instantly encouraged to “Explore More” of Sharjah with a new focus being given to Sharjah as it creates a new positioning strategy for itself in outdoor tourism. Sharjah offers a huge diversity in its landscape stretching from the East Coast to the West Coast with mountains, wadis, desert and of course beaches for visitors to enjoy. Through the work of the Environmental Protection Areas Authority who are also participating at the ATM with Sharjah Tourism there are great facilities for the family to enjoy, where you can see rare animals in their natural habitats such as the Arabian Leopard in Al Hefaiyah or migratory birds visiting the ancient salt flats at Wasit Wetlands Centre. Presenting Sharjah as an outdoor tourism destination seems sensible” said Al Midfa “most people who enjoy desert activities take part in them in Sharjah, this year we will start to regulate these to ensure the safety of everyone and the preservation of the fragile ecosystem found in the dunes” “The new addition to Kalba with the high end eco lodges further exemplifies the positioning, the lodges were recently launched and are another exciting proposition that we feel sure will encourage further outdoor tourism in Sharjah. Kalba is an undeveloped hamlet on the East Coast and has beautiful mangroves which are home to the critically endangered Arabian Collared Kingfisher. This year the economic upturn and the strong presence created by the Tourism Authority has meant that the delegation attending with the Authority is particularly strong, with representation from Sharjah International Airport, The Sharjah Museums Department, Sharjah Institute for Heritage, Knowledge without borders, Beha’a The Sharjah Environment Company, Auras Tours, Coral Beach Resort Sharjah, Oceanic Khorfakkan Resort & Spa / Hotel Holiday International / Marbella Resort, Ramada Hotel, Royal Tulip the Act Hotel, SATA, Sheraton Sharjah Beach & Resort, Al Khalidiah, Radisson Blu, Hilton hotel, Al Majaz Premier, Aryana, Al Shaab Village, COZMO, Golden Tulip, Air Arabia, Trav Talk and Breeze Tourism. Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority is targeting a 12% growth in GCC tourism figures for 2017, after success at the recent Riyadh Travel Fair at the beginning of the month, the Arabian Travel Market is the next step in achieving this strategic move in its overall growth.