Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has revealed that the third Emirate of the UAE, Sharjah witnessed a 7% increase in its hotel revenue in the first half (H1) of 2016 – reaching Dh378 million.
Sharjah covers an area of 2,590 squares kilometers and has a population of more than 800,000. Since 1972, it has been ruled by Sultan bin Mohamed Al-Qasimi.
According to SCTDA in H1 2016, with well-planned strategies, it identified new markets and worked with local partners to increase guests from these markets. Though the actual number was not revealed, visitors for H1 2016 rose by 19% when compared to H1 2015.
Most successful market
The most thriving market among these new markets appears to be China with an increase of 73.2% bookings only from China. Thereof, SCTDA is now focusing its efforts on China and looking forward to boosting the bookings by making a new overseas office with Chinese staff.
New flight routes
New flight routes to Pakistan also had a positive effect on some visitors traveling from Pakistan. An increase of 10.3% was recorded in hotel guests.
During H1 2016, GCC was the first largest source market for Sharjah by sending nearly 220,000 visitors. As the number of tourists from Asia increased by 12% this year, it became the second largest source market for the state. SCTDA anticipates that the number of visitors will see a definite rise in the second half of 2016 as a result of its rigorous summer marketing.
Russia and Europe
Russia and Europe came in third place for hotel guests in Sharjah. Expectations are that Russian visitors will increase in H2 2016 as 1.8% more Russians visited in this year when compared to H1 2015.
Visitors from non-GCC Arab countries reached nearly quarter of a million – the number of Jordanian visitors increased by 4% during H1 2016. African tourists also rose by 2% from January to June 2016.
The Chairman of SCTDA, Khalid Jasem Al Midfa said that the increase in visitor number in Sharjah is in line with Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021. According to the vision, Sharjah’s aim is to attract 10 million visitors by 2021.
“The positive results underline the fact that Sharjah is gaining in popularity as a year-round destination for families from all around the world. This, in turn, proves that the emirate has succeeded in diversifying its tourism and hospitality offerings”, Mr. Jasem concluded.
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