Sharjah steps up its presence at ITB as it is awarded best exhibitor award 2017.
Date Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority headed a tourism delegation to Germany for ITB Berlin, 8-12 March 2017 as part of the emirate’s strategy to continue building its reputation globally as a family destination offering a diverse tourism portfolio with its unparalleled experiences in culture and heritage. The Authority was honored to receive the award for the best stand in the Middle East at a glittering awards ceremony. HE Khalid Al Midfa said “we are always delighted to be in Berlin and this is our 20th year of participation demonstrating our long term investment in the European market. ITB is always a good exhibition for us but this year our improved stand design has added a new dimension and we noticed a considerable increase in footfall and business this year. We are delighted that our efforts have been recognized and we received first place in the best stand for the middle east category awarded at a glittering ceremony during ITB. The success of the Authority is thanks to the wise leadership and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.” On the opening day Sharjah’s outstanding award winning pavilion quickly became the heart of the Middle Eastern hall. The traditional café occupied the middle section of the stand with a traditional date souk and opportunities for the visitors to experience Henna and see calligraphy the stand certainly underscored the heritage and culture of the region. The “Natural Sharjah” tunnel attracted a huge amount of attention and was supported by the new coffee table book which emphasizes all of Sharjah’s natural treasures. This innovative tunnel made entirely from sustainable wood sources very visually reflected the importance that is being placed on the environment and outdoor tourism by the Authoroity for the coming years. To ensure understanding of the wide diversity of natural assets that Sharjah has, the Authority has worked closely with the Environmental Protection Authority to launch a new coffee table book profiling the protected areas as well as the flora and fauna found in the emirate. “Sharjah has established itself as a global tourism brand with huge potential for further investment, capitalizing on its diverse landscape, rich heritage, temperate climate and excellent accommodation industry, which together makes Sharjah a fabulous, affordable family destination for leisure and business travel on local, regional and international levels” said Al Midfa. Historically, Germany is one of Sharjahs important source markets, which together with the rest of Europe accounts for 20% of all guest stays in the emirate. HE Khalid Al Midfa, commented: “Our presence at ITB comes as a testament of our commitment to continue strengthening our ties with Germany, as one of our top source markets; and exemplifies our initiatives to further grow the emirate’s brand presence, which with its temperate climate, stunning landscapes and vast outdoor offering, Sharjah is securely establishing itself internationally as a premier global affordable family destination.” The number of visitors to the stand underscored the Sharjah stand recognition and prominence at the show. The Authority was delighted to receive visits from HE Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, the President of the Federal National Council and an accompanied delegation, HE Ali Al Ahmad Ambassador of the UAE to the Federal Republic of Germany, and HE Mohammed Al Muhairi the undersecretary for the Minister of Economy. Among many meetings on the stand from investors, media, and key outbound players in the tourism industry, Sharjah Tourism noted the enthusiasm towards the new positioning of the Emirate reflected in the stand design and the increased desire by the travel industry for Sharjah to be included and positioned in their portfolios. A number of key outbound operators announced their intention to increase flight frequency to the region which is a positive sign of not only economic improvement but also reflects the hard work of all the tourism boards in the region to positioning their products in the minds of the European consumer. The delegation, led by the Tourism Authorities Chairman HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, will includes the co exhibitors of Shurooq, Sharjah Airport Authority, Environmental Protected Areas Authoirty, Sharjah Museums Department, Sharjah Heritage, Knowledge Without Borders, SATA, Sharjah National Hotels, Golden Tulip, Ramada, Coral Beach Resort, Sheraton, Auras Tours, and Travtalk. ITB is the worlds leading travel trade show and is often a key determinant of the travel trends for the following seasons. The ITB awards are one of the most hotly contested awards for the tourism industry with over 4000 stands being judged by an independent panel of MBA tourism students from Cologne university.