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Sat 13 Aug 2016 09:56 AM

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Sharjah tourism receipts up 7% to $102.9m in H1

Guest numbers rise by 19% with big increase in Chinese visitors, says Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority

Sharjah tourism receipts up 7% to $102.9m in H1

Hotels across Sharjah recorded a seven percent increase in revenue during the first half of 2016, reaching AED378 million ($102.9 million).

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority said the increase comes as it identifies new markets and works with local partners to increase guests, which rose by 19 percent compared to same period in 2015.

The most successful of these new markets is China which witnessed a 73.2 percent increase in numbers in the first six months of this year.

The Authority said in a statement that it is continuing to focus effort on this market and is looking forward to further increases over the following year resulting from a new overseas office.

The effect of new flight routes to Pakistan has also had a positive effect on numbers of visitors travelling from Pakistan with a 10.3 percent increase to in hotel guests during the first half of 2016, the statement added.

It added that overall, the number of Asian tourists grew by 12 percent making Asia the second-largest source market for Sharjah, just behind the GCC which sent nearly 220,000 visitors in the first six months of 2016.

Europe and Russia maintained its third place for hotel guests staying in Sharjah in H1, with the number of Russian visitors starting to pick up again, increasing by 1.8 percent in the first six months of this year, following a slump last year.

"The positive results underline the fact that Sharjah is gaining in popularity as a year-round destination for families from all around the world," said Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, chairman of SCTDA. "This, in turn, proves that the emirate has succeeded in diversifying its tourism and hospitality offerings."

He said that the emirate is well on its way to attract 10 million visitors by the year 2021.

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