The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority has unveiled its tourism statistics for the first half of Year 2014, showing a significant increase in the number of visitors to the Emirate touching one million mark.
It is a 15 per cent jump over the same period last year when the Emirate received 955,355 tourists, underscoring the continuing, sustained growth of the tourism sector in the emirate, according to HE Mohamed Ali Al Noman, Chairman, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority.
The H1 statistics reflect a stable occupancy of nearly 74 per cent in hotels even during the normally low season summer months in the Emirate of Sharjah. In terms of stay, hotel establishments recorded 1,817,416 guest nights that included 110,621 guest nights for hotels and 711,206 guest nights for hotel apartments.
The half yearly results show an encouraging 6% increase in the guest nights in hotels for the low season which indicates that 2014 will be a good year for returning very positive growth figures.
According to the SCTDA statistics, European tourists once again came out on top. Sharjah received 409,578 European visitors in the first half of 2014 accounting for 37 per cent of the total number of tourists. The Russian tourists formed 25 per cent of the total number of European visitors.
The second spot was taken by visitors from the GCC or Gulf states. Sharjah received 369,485 visitors from the Gulf states, accounting for 34 per cent of the total share of tourists.
They were followed by Asian tourists at 13 per cent and visitors from other Arab countries at 12 per cent. The nationals from the Americas, Africa and the Pacific accounted for 5 per cent.
The total number of hotel facilities in Sharjah stands at 106 (50 hotels and 56 hotel apartments). The number of hotel rooms has touched 10,000. The Emirate has been making efforts to boost and expand the hotel industry capacity by encouraging international investors and hotel groups to invest in the hospitality sector in order to raise the number of hotel rooms to at least 14,000 in near future. Growth in hotel rooms shows renewed confidence by investors in Sharjah’s tourism industry.
The SCTDA Chairman emphasised that these encouraging results provide even more reasons for the government and private sector in the tourism sector to work even harder to achieve greater successes and growth in months ahead, especially with Sharjah being celebrated as the Capital of Arab Tourism for 2015.