Sharjah’s efforts to attract more Asian and Chinese tourists struck a receptive chord with the emirate earning itself accolades and warm response at the Beijing International Tourism Expo that wrapped up in the Chinese capital yesterday. The emirate’s participation in the hugely successful Beijing exhibition, held from 15-17 June, culminated on an upbeat note on Sunday with its eye-catching pavilion once again claiming the Outstanding Exhibitor Award in an event attended by 800 exhibitors from 70 countries.
Speaking at the award ceremony attended by senior Chinese officials among others, HE Mohammed Ali Al Noman, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority said that this was another recognition of the Authority’s efforts to boost the emirate’s profile on the global stage attracting more international visitors and investors. This is Sharjah’s sixth award at the Beijing fair in seven years. While the emirate won the Best Designed Pavilion Award in Years 2007, 2008 and 2011, it received the award in the category of the Best Participant in 2009 and 2010.
Attributing the success of Sharjah’s tourism model to the combined efforts of the public and private sectors and all players of the tourism and hospitality sector, Al Noman said that the emirate was keen to exploit the immense potential of the burgeoning Asian tourism market. “With the emirate receiving 15 per cent of its tourists from Asia, it is our crucial market. Last year, 242,341 Asian tourists visited Sharjah. The Chinese visitor numbers crossed 30,000 in the same year. This is why we look forward to the Beijing exhibition,” said Al Noman.
“Here is an ideal opportunity and platform to promote Sharjah’s tourism product in the Asian markets,” said the SCTDA chairman stressing the significant increase in the number of Asian tourists to Sharjah and the UAE over the past few years.
Al Noman led a strong delegation of government departments and private players of Sharjah’s tourism and hospitality industry to the 3-day Beijing exhibition. The emirate’s stand attracted considerable attention of Chinese and international exhibitors, media and VIP visitors who evinced keen interest in Sharjah’s Arab-Islamic heritage, cultural festivals and numerous leisure and shopping opportunities.
Visitors were provided with information and guidance about Sharjah and the UAE in both Chinese and English at the emirate’s pavilion stretched over 84 sq. metres. Last year, the SCTDA launched its website in Chinese in an attempt to reach out to the Chinese and Asian visitors.
The Sharjah delegation to Beijing also included Shurooq (Sharjah Investment and Development Authority), Sharjah Museums Department, Coral Beach Resort Sharjah, Hotel Holiday International, Golden Tulip Sharjah, Sharjah Grand Hotel and Fairmont Holidays.
The three-day mega tourism event this year packed in an enormous showcase of tourism destinations, attractions and travel-related goods and services and attracted 45,000 visitors.