The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) said hotels and hotel apartments across the northern emirate registered solid growth last year netting Dh633 million ($172 million) in revenue.
The total number of hotel guests in 2018 surged to 1.74 million, stated SCTDA in its report.
In 2018, guests from Russia, the Commonwealth and the Baltics region posted a 41 per cent growth compared to the previous year, while tourists from Africa increased by 4 per cent.
According to senior officials, Russians continue to boost their market share in Sharjah which surged to 23 per cent last year from 15 per cent in 2017. Meanwhile, China has kept its market share to 7 per cent, they added.
The SCTDA continues to remain on track to drive the emirate’s tourism sector after its major 2018 accomplishments revealed a steady rise in the number of visitors and improved hotel revenues, said the officials ahead of its participation at the upcoming Arabian Travel Market 2019 in Dubai.
During the event, the SCTDA will promote its tourism projects and initiatives to raise global awareness of the emirate’s distinctive, all-year-round tourist attractions.
The top five nationalities who travelled to the emirate in 2018 were Russians and they include the Russia, the Commonwealth and the Baltics region at 392,691; Omanis, 145,413; Chinese, 122,328; Saudis, 117,074; and Indians, 113,300 visitors.
Sharjah also broached the Indonesian, Malaysian, German, and Singaporean markets for the first time in 2018 through road shows to promote the emirate’s exceptional tourism offerings and popular tourist attractions, and we have also recently launched promotional campaigns to attract more visitors from Scandinavia, Northern Europe and the Far East, with the aim of activating cooperation with potential and new tourism markets.
SCTDA, which won the ‘Best Tourism Authority’ award at the Arabian Travel Awards 2018, also received three ISO certificates last year, namely ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 18001.
On the achievements, Chairman Khalid Jasim Al Midfa said: “Sharjah government’s vision is to attract 10 million visitors by 2021, in time for the UAE’s 50th founding anniversary. Thanks to the unlimited efforts and the cooperation of all partners with us, we have already achieved at least 70 per cent of this vision, which is the equivalent of 7 million visitors who have come to Sharjah.”
“This number is divided into leading exhibitions, events, museums visitors and tourists through the Sharjah International Airport – a quality focused achievement that we are proud of and has also inspired us to continue moving forward,” he noted.
“The continuing efforts to improve and enhance the tourism sector play a large and important role in helping achieve the objectives of this vision. Moreover, the positive performance of the local tourism sector is an important addition to successful achievements of Sharjah, which has also been named World Book Capital 2019 by the Director-General of Unesco,” he added.