FOLLOWING impressive first-half figures, international tourists have continued to flock to Sharjah in extraordinary numbers over the summer months with July witnessing an 18 per cent increase in visitors.
Sharjah’s hotels received 141,484 guests in July compared to 120,301 during the same period last year.
During Ramadan and the Eid break, the emirate’s hotels and hotel apartments attracted more than 90,000 guests with a total of 106,168 room nights recorded by hotels and hotel apartments.
GCC visitors topped the list at 43 per cent with 60,317 tourists, during July 2011, closely followed by Europeans (37 per cent) with 52,678. Visitors from other countries across the Middle East made up eight per cent (11,143) and the number of Asian visitors stood at 11 per cent (14,925).
July saw a 25 per cent increase in hotel and hotel apartment room nights, a standard method of evaluating hotel occupancy, from 121,670 last year to 152,588 in 2011. Overall hotel and hotel apartment occupancy also rose from 69 per cent during the same period last year to 74 per cent this July.
The emirate staged a number of events during the Ramadan and Eid season. The Ramadan and Eid Fair 2011 at the Sharjah Expo Centre alone attracted more than 139,000 visitors. Al Qasba was a favourite among visitors during the Ramadaniat al Qasba festival and Eid celebrations. Other attractions include plays by the Sharjah Theatres Group and events by the Sharjah Museums Department, as well as promotions by various malls and souqs and departments of the Sharjah government.
Commenting on the positive performance, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority director general Mohamed Al Noman said the statistics are a testament to the unique nature of Sharjah and its enduring charm for all kinds of visitors.
In the first half of 2011 a total of 768,061 tourists visited the emirate with hotels and hotel apartments recording 75 per cent occupancy. Al Noman said the SCTDA’s efforts and strategy to promote Sharjah as a complete holiday destination for the entire family are showing results.
“Sharjah attracts both the East and the West and European travellers as well as Gulf and Middle East visitors,” he said. “From the Sharjah Water Festival to the Sharjah Light Festival and from Sharjah Biennial to the International Book Fair, not to mention the great shopping opportunities it offers and its great outdoors and beaches, the emirate offers something for everyone.”
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.