Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) is preparing to welcome 200,000 Chinese visitors to the emirate of Sharjah by 2021, according to a statement.
HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa Chairman of SCTDA, explained that China is major international source market for tourism and commerce. Hotels welcomed over 75,000 Chinese visitors during the first 3 quarters of 2016 showing a 75% year on year growth.
“Through taking into account the Chinese markets distinctive characteristics and focusing on the Sharjah’s strengths and unique cultural tourism offering, we are confident that we can continue the upward trend of this market into Sharjah. We are aiming to confirm 200,000 Chinese guests’ nights in 2021,” said HE Khalid Al Midfa.
“Our latest workshop with our partners Air Arabia in the north-western Chinese city of Urumqi – capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, was another part of our Chinese strategy aimed at achieving this growth. The delegation met with the region’s major travel agencies and overseas tour organisers to discuss strategies for boosting Chinese tourism to Sharjah, as well as to gain a better insight into the markets current trends,” he added, “the increased initiative to attract visitors from China has been boosted with the new Chinese visa on arrival regulation as well as the many new initiatives by the Authority and stakeholders to attract further visitors.
During the visit in Urumqi the delegations discussed new flight opportunities. Currently Air Arabia is the only outbound tourist carrier from this region and is running at high capacity suggesting there is further potential from the region. Air Arabia arranged meetings and workshops with their key agents among other outbound tourism providers.
The workshop included a presentation covering the Emirate of Sharjah’s rich history and cultural heritage, as well as its diverse tourist offerings and emphasised the emirate’s central location in relation to all continents, and underlined its character as a city and an emirate steeped in history and unwaveringly attached to its heritage.
With so much to offer, including Heart of Sharjah, Al Majaz Waterfront, Mleiha archaeological site, and the Central Souk, supplemented by a range of exciting events, such as the Sharjah Light Festival, Sharjah International Book Fair, and the upcoming U.I.M. F1H2O World Championship - Grand Prix of Sharjah, in December 2016 there was a genuine interest from the attendees.
The presentation concluded with an overview of the phenomenal growth that the travel and tourism sector in Sharjah has undergone, along with a preview of projects in the pipeline and of the sector’s promising growth prospects in the near future.
His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said: “We, at the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, spare no effort in promoting our emirate as a year-round destination for people from any country around the world. This workshop is of utmost importance to us, seeing as China is our fastest-growing source market; the number of Chinese visitors to Sharjah increased by a staggering 75.2% in the first nine months of 2016, when compared with the same period in 2015. SCTDA regularly hosts Chinese travel industry and tourism media representatives on familiarisation trips to Sharjah, these trips provide a perfect opportunity to highlight the emirates offerings and future tourism development plans, as well as to explore different methods of cooperation to attract more Chinese visitors to the region. We are leaving no avenue unexplored in our efforts to meet our 2021 targets. The opening of a new office in the eastern part of China at the end of this month reaffirms our commitment to ensuring the numbers from this market continue with steady growth.
In 2017 Sharjah will focus on its eco diversity along with its culture and we are confident that this will continue to be a great platform to keep Sharjah in the mind of all global markets.” concluded HE Al Midfa.