Monday 7, March 2016

Sharjah – MENA Herald: Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has announced its participation in the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) Berlin. This year will see Sharjahs strongest participation, headed by Khalid Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA with a participation of 22 government and private sector organisations under the umbrella of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority. The event is in its 50th year and offers an ideal platform to exchange experiences, discuss business opportunities and explore the potential of new tourism products and destinations around the world.

Sharjah is participating in ITB Berlin for the 19th consecutive year and this year is attending against a strong backdrop of positive growth in the German market having seen a 64% increase in German guests during 2015. For 2016, SCTDA is hosting an elaborate pavilion spread across 462 square meters, showcasing the emirate’s authentic Arab tourism offerings to reflect its distinct identity represented through its range of festivals and events.

His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said the participation of Sharjah in ITB Berlin this year is very significanct considering that the leading global exhibition is celebrating its 50th anniversary. He went on to stress the importance of the German market, referring to last years figures that saw the Germans contributing to a quarter of the total visitor numbers for 2015 and showing an strong increase on the 2014 guest figures.

HE Al Midfa said: “ITB Berlin has consolidated its position as one of the most important tourism events in Europe as well as the global market. Sharjah’s participation in this special event will involve high-level meetings with senior decision makers in the German and European tourism sector in addition to a number of activities that sheds light on the status of the emirate as a leading family tourism destination and a beacon of culture.”

SCTDA will highlight many activities during the five days of the travel fair including new tourism attractions in particular Al Noor Island and Mlehia as well as initiatives such as the mobile app and touchscreen. The participants will look forward to highlighting “knowledge without borders” and the proposed golf championship among other initiatives. Once again there are local activities for visitors to the stand to enjoy, including a dedicated cultural area offering performances by the Ayala band, Henna designs, traditional dress photo opportunities, and calligraphy sessions. Visitors to the pavilion will also get the opportunity to taste a variety of dates and traditional dishes and local sweets.

HE Al Midfa said SCTDA is looking to attract more tourists to Sharjah through its participation in ITB Berlin, and showcase the latest projects and infrastructure developments in the emirate’s tourism sector.

The Sharjah delegation to ITB Berlin, led by SCTDA includes: Shurooq, Sharjah Healthcare City, Sharjah Museums, Sharjah International Airport, Sharjah Institute of Heritage, EPAA, Knowledge without Borders, Al Shaab Village, Copthorne Hotel, Coral Beach, Sheraton, Ramada Hotel, Golden Tulip, Sharjah National Hotels, Lou Loua Beach Resort, Radisson Blu, SATA, Cozmo Travel, Travtalk Middle East, Sharjah TV and Al Khaleej.
At the beginning of the year, Sharjah was selected as one of the 50 cities worldwide to receive an ambassador from ITB Berlin as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the International Tourism Bourse. During their visit to Sharjah, ITB ambassador Julian Daum and Teresa Baumgarten, a representative from ITB Berlin, witnessed the Sharjah Water Festival and the UIM F1H2O World Championship 2015 Grand Prix of Sharjah. They also visited the emirate’s prime heritage locations, including the Heart of Sharjah.
More than 185 countries from around the world are participating in ITB Berlin this year. The exhibition is bringing together 10,000 exhibitors in an area of 160,000 square metres, and is set to attract 23,000 trade visitors and 50,000 regular visitors. Its estimated turnover is 6.7 billion euros.