The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority revealed the statistics in its third quarter report released today (Wednesday, November 9) on the sidelines of the World Travel Market being held from 7-10 November in London.
The third quarter statistics report on the performance of tourism sector in the emirate suggests a 4 per increase in hotel occupancy, up from 72 per cent in the same period last year. The rate of occupancy for hotel apartments stood at 69 pc showing a 3 pc increase during the same period last year. The overall occupancy for hotels and hotel apartments combined stood at 72 pc registering a 3 pc increase over the same period last year.
The SCTDA statistics report records an increase in the number of guests in hotels and hotel apartments. It shows an increase in the total number of guests which stood at 1,122,347 by the end of the third quarter. So while the number of hotel guests stood at 588,474 in the third quarter this year, the number of guests hotel apartments received stood at 533,873.
The hotel and hotel apartment nights also increased during the third quarter this year recording an overall 1,302,950 nights—718,744 hotel nights and 584,206 hotel apartment nights respectively. This compares to 1,126,187 nights during the same period last year—581,903 hotel nights and 544,284 hotel apartment nights. The total increase in hotels and hotel apartment nights thus shows a 15 pc increase over the same period last year.
Commenting on the statistics, SCTDA Chairman Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, said that it is the partnership and excellence in promoting Sharjah that are responsible for these positive results in the tourism sector. That’s why we are keen to explore international avenues and opportunities that could increase the investments in the tourism sector and improve the services and facilities for the tourists.
Al Qassimi added: “The SCTDA strategy to promote Sharjah goes hand in hand with the amazing progress and tremendous development the emirate has been witnessing. All this is result of hard work and a vision to keep pace with the progress in the region regional and around the world.” He said Sharjah has firmly established itself as a favorite tourism destination with great tourist attractions and a unique identity of its own.
He said the SCTDA expects a further increase in the tourist inflow and hotel occupancy in the last quarter this year because of a number of local and international events including the Sharjah Water Festival and the F1 Powerboat World Championship–Sharjah Grand Prix 2011 and the Sharjah International Book Fair which is in its 3oth year.
Al Qassimi said that more tourism projects are going to be unveiled across the emirate soon such, especially the much awaited Al Majaz Waterfront project which will transform the picturesque Buheirah Corniche contribute to the tourist flow into the emirate. “There are many other plans on the table to promote tourism sector in the emirate that the SCTDA will be finalising before the end of this year,” he added.
The World Travel Market is one of the premier international travel and tourism exhibitions, one of the top five events in the world where industry leaders meet, network and exchange ideas to promote tourism and their destinations. Last year, more than 49,000 visitors from 202 destinations from around the world took part in the exhibition. This year the number is expected to grow 10 per cent.