Monday, June 8, 2015

How do you attract 10 million tourists?

Sharjah — The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) aims to attract 10 million tourists to the emirate by 2021. This is in line with the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021.

The Sharjah Tourism Advisory Committee, chaired by Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, director-general of SCTDA, held its third meeting to discuss the latest developments in the emirate’s tourism sector. The meeting highlighted the SCTDA’s participation in international tourism fairs and regional and global promotional tours.

The meeting was attended by Saif Mohamed Al Midfa, director-general, Expo Centre Sharjah; Ahmed Al Qaseer, chief operating officer, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq); and other officials.

The meeting began with the display of a new six-minute promotional film for Sharjah that highlights the main cultural and heritage attractions and other tourist destinations in the emirate.
Reviewing the main features of the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, launched recently by SCTDA, Jasim Al Midfa called for concerted efforts of all players in the tourism sector.

Al Midfa said the Authority is working on activating the key pillars of the Vision in collaboration with partners from the private and government sectors, and has launched initiatives and services to support the Vision.

He highlighted some of the initiatives launched recently, including the ‘Marhabtain’ initiative, a training programme that aims to develop capabilities in the tourism sector and enhance the skill levels of national cadres in this sector.

Al Midfa said the ‘Marhabtain’ initiative has already seen the launch of two programmes, the first aimed at training taxi drivers in Sharjah, in collaboration with the Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority. The second programme offers training for Emirati tourist guides in Sharjah, focusing on practical skills based on international standards followed by the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations.

Al Midfa also informed the Committee members about the success achieved by the SCTDA during its recent international participations, such as China Outbound Tourism and Travel Market, ITB Berlin, and the Arabian Travel Market as well as a promotional tour in three Gulf cities under the umbrella of the National Council for Tourism and Antiquities.

Al Midfa said the Authority is targeting new markets. China, India and the GCC are the most important markets for SCTDA in achieving the objectives of Vision 2021, Al Midfa added. He also highlighted the need to promote business tourism. -end-

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