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Sharjah Tourism Reinforces Its Position in European Markets

Date Published: Tuesday, November 4, 2014 The Sharjah stand at the WTM London exhibition has been attracting considerable attention of the travel and tourism industry, leaders of tourism in the UK and delegates from international destinations. On day two of the London exhibition, HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority and HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority welcomed HE Abdulrahman Al Mutaiwee, UAE Ambassador to the United Kingdom, and other officials from the UAE embassy to the Sharjah stand. The SCTDA officials held meetings and talks with senior officials and leading figures of the industry which included Mr David Scowsill, President & CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council. The meeting with Mr Scowsill highlighted the growth and development of Sharjah’s distinct tourism product with focus on the special tourism activities, events and cultural festivals hosted by the emirate throughout the year. The two sides exchanged experiences and ideas about tourism promotion and cooperation. The Sharjah stand handled 52 meetings from high profile travel journalists and trade members. The journalists were very excited with the opportunities that Sharjah presents as a cultural destination and the trade were looking to develop new charter and package holidays into the emirate. Further talks revolved around driving awareness through the travel industry with the development of online travel agents training programmes that can be rolled out in key generating regions. Speaking on the occasion, HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Director General, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority underscored the significance of these regular meetings with leading players of the international travel and tourism industry, saying they offer an important opportunity to highlight Sharjah’s tourism offering capitalizing on its strengths and successes as a diverse tourism and cultural destination. It is this focus that has brought it global recognition and laurels such as the prestigious Capital of Islamic Culture Award for 2014 and the Capital of Arab Tourism Award for 2015. Al Midfa noted his satisfaction at the success and the positive response that the Emirate of Sharjah has been receiving at the WTM London exhibition, especially from the crucial European tourism markets, which have registered steady growth in recent years. Sharjah received more than 409,585 European tourists in the first 6 months, registering a remarkable 17% increase over the same period last year when the emirate received 349,670 tourists. Al Midfa emphasised that the Authority is working and pushing for constant growth and development of the tourism sector in the emirate, with the help of integrated strategies in order to bolster Sharjah’s position in the global tourism market, particularly in view of the number of international awards and titles that the emirate has earned in recent times. While showcasing the best of Sharjah at the London exhibition, the Authority is keen to highlight the Capital of Arab Tourism Award for 2015 for Sharjah, for which strong preparations have already been underway, besides various international events and festivals hosted by the emirate throughout the year. The SCTDA has also introduced the user-friendly Interactive Touchscreen and the new tourism portal which are attracting significant attention at the London exhibition. Led by the SCTDA, the Sharjah delegation includes Sharjah International Airport Authority, Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas (EPAA), Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Coral Beach Resort Sharjah, Sharjah Museums Department and Universal Travels & Tourism.