SCTDA’s distinct stand at Madrid event to highlight cultural identity of Sharjah
Date Published: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 As part of its strategy to promote Sharjah as a major tourism destination in the global market, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) will participate in FITUR International Tourism Trade Fair, one of the most specialized tourism industry exhibitions in the world, which will be held in the Spanish capital, Madrid, from January 28 to February 1, 2015. This is the fourth consecutive year that SCTDA is participating in FITUR. SCTDA’s presence in the event will feature a distinctly innovative stand that highlights the cultural identity of Sharjah. SCTDA will lead a delegation comprising a number of government and private agencies, including Cosmo Travel Inc., Sharjah Airport Travel Agency (SATA). At the FITUR, SCTDA aims to identify new tour operators and raise awareness about Sharjah as a cultural destination. The delegation will also explore opportunities to establish new direct flight connections to Sharjah. The Authority is to participate in international forums and exhibitions on an annual basis as part of its efforts to strengthen the position of Sharjah in the international tourism market. International tourism fairs offer a gateway to promote Sharjah’s tourism potential and offer access to key international markets. FITUR provides an ideal platform to exchange experience and discuss opportunities for collaboration with experts, investors and key players in the field of tourism. This is also an occasion to learn the best practices and the latest developments in the international tourism industry. The participation of SCTDA in FITUR has witnessed great success over the past three years. The fair provides the Authority an opportunity to showcase Sharjah’s tourism sector not only in Spain and the Iberian Peninsula but also to tourists from South America who consider FITUR a crucial event to develop their tourism programs. The SCTDA is aiming to attract visitors and tourists from Central and South American markets, especially in view of direct flight connectivity from those markets to the UAE. Cultural tourism is the main attraction for visitors from Central and South American markets, which makes Sharjah a perfect destination for them. Recent research has shown that a large number of tourists from South American markets make a stopover in the UAE, especially in Sharjah, on their way to Middle East tourist locations such as Petra in Jordan. Sharjah is a major attraction for these tourists because of its wide tourism portfolio ranging from cultural tourism to retail and medical tourism. Sharjah Healthcare City is set to contribute significantly to the development of Sharjah’s medical tourism sector. In order to increase the flow of tourists to the emirate, SCTDA will promote at the Madrid fair its various events, including Sharjah Light Festival, which kicks off on February 5 and will run until February 13. The Authority will provide visitors with information and brochures on the tourism sector in Sharjah. It will also organise a number of activities to drive business to the stand, including a raffle offering a chance to win a five-night holiday in Sharjah for two people. FITUR exhibition attracts more than 9,000 exhibitors and over 200,000 visitors from 167 countries, offering a major platform to promote Sharjah’s tourism products in the Spanish and European markets. The event is also an avenue for cooperation between exhibitors and participants from various capitals and international destinations.