The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority has wrapped up a successful workshop titled ‘Cruise Tourism: Opportunities and Challenges’, held from January 23 to 31 for senior officials and heads of various Sharjah government departments and agencies.
The orientation and training campaign included a number of workshops, lectures and seminars about the concept, importance and potential of international luxury cruise tourism and was aimed at exploring the ways and means and suggestions to drive the industry’s growth in Sharjah which has in recent times witnessed a massive surge in the arrivals of international luxury cruiseliners.
The SCTDA workshop included sessions on the role of transportation in promoting cruise tourism, role of support services and identity of cruise tourists etc. The training and workshop was held at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Sharjah and in East Coast city of Kalba.
This workshop is the first of its kind in Sharjah and it was moderated by an expert with long experience in international cruise industry and in the management of major luxury cruise operators including AIDA and Costa Crociere. The workshop discussed the history of cruise tourism in Sharjah, and the development it has witnessed in recent years as against its development at the global level. In year 2012, more than 20 million people went on a cruise worldwide.
The SCTDA Director General HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa opened and attended the workshop along with a number of senior officials and representatives of Sharjah government departments working in the tourism sector in the emirate notably Department of Seaports and Customs, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Shurooq (Sharjah Investment and Development Authority), Department of Culture and Information, Sharjah Public Transport Corporation, Khorfakkan Municipality and Sharjah Museums Department.
Underscoring the importance of the workshop and training, Al Midfa hoped its positive results will contribute to the strengthening of cooperation between various government departments and institutions engaged in the tourism sector. He called for finding best solutions to drive the tourism sector’s growth and strengthening Sharjah’s position as a perfect destination for international luxury cruise industry.
The Director General emphasised that the Authority is making all efforts possible in cooperation with key stakeholders to develop the tourism sector and cruise tourism in particular providing best facilities in accordance with international standards and making Sharjah a pleasant experience for international luxury tourists.
Al Midfa said that the new facilities and development on Sharjah’s East Coast are set to double the number of luxury cruise tourists to the port of Khorfakkan during the 2012-2013 season and could see greater growth in the future.Referring to the number of recent meetings with senior officials of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs, Khorfakkan port and representatives of the cruise industry, he said the Authority is keen to promote Sharjah as a perfect destination for cruise tourism and attract more international luxury cruise ships to boost the economy.