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Sharjah Eyes Bigger Share of Chinese Travel Market as it Debuts at COTTM, Beijing

Date Published: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 AL NOMAN: PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE IN BEIJING SOON TO TARGET CHINESE-ASIAN MARKET Sharjah is looking to strongly showcase and promote its tourism and hospitality sector opportunities in the massive Chinese market as it makes its debut at COTTM Beijing (Chinese Outbound Travel and Tourism Marketing) exhibition from April 9 to 11, 2014. Led by Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, a delegation of Sharjah’s government entities and tourism and hospitality industry that includes Radisson Blu Resort Sharjah, MH Group of Hotels, Golden Tulip Sharjah, Royal Grand Suite and Cozmo Travel among others is attending the 3-day event in the Chinese capital. Speaking on the occasion, SCTDA Chairman HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman said that the initiative is part of the continuing efforts by the Emirate to target the immensely promising Chinese and Asian tourism market, which is the fastest growing in the world today, and attract more visitors from the region. The SCTDA Chairman said that as part of the Authority’s continuing efforts to beckon more Chinese and Asian visitors to Sharjah, the celebrated capital of Arab and Islamic Culture, the SCTDA is planning a full-time representative office in Beijing among a number of other measures including year-long promotional activities and specially targeted campaigns across the region. “China today leads the world as far as tourism growth is concerned. With its massive population and rising middle classes, it is the fastest growing tourism market in the world today. It is important for Sharjah’s tourism industry to tap this massive market,” he emphasised. Al Noman said that in recent years, the interest of Chinese and Asian tourists and investors in Sharjah and the UAE has been consistently growing which reflects in growing visitor numbers. Sharjah received more than 269,950 Asian tourists in 2013, representing 14% from the total 1.9 million visitors received by the Emirate which is being celebrated as the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014. This month Sharjah is also hosting, from April 6 to 17, a huge contingent of more than 16,000 Chinese visitors in several groups including top dignitaries, leaders of tourism and hospitality industry, a number of eminent journalists, intellectuals and regular tourists, pointed out Al Noman. On the sidelines of the COTTM Beijing exhibition, the SCTDA is also hosting a destination seminar/workshop about Sharjah’s tourism opportunities and its efforts to initiate a long-term strategy to tap this massive market. More than 70 leading industry players, tourism companies and tourism and travel media are attending the workshop and presentation at Grand Hyatt in the Chinese capital on April 10. Sharjah has unveiled a special stand for the COTTM Beijing exhibition that showcases the best of Sharjah’s diverse tourism experience, its authentic Arab and Islamic heritage, year-long calendar of festivals and events and its endless leisure and shopping opportunities for the whole family. Sharjah has been able to firmly establish itself in Asian markets through continuous participation in international trade exhibitions and forums of the travel and tourism industry in the region, including the Beijing International Travel and Tourism Exhibition where the Sharjah Stand won the Best Pavilion Award last year. In its 10th year, COTTM Beijing is China’s leading outbound travel exhibition offering 100% business-to-business and outbound travel and tourism opportunities. The exclusive annual exhibition is regarded as the industry’s most important platform and remains the only business to business event that focuses purely on the burgeoning outbound market.