The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has recently issued statistics detailing the emirate’s tourism sector performance in 2006.
The report shows a very high level of growth and development in its tourism sector during 2006, where the number of guests reached 1,315,745, compared to 1,295,896 in 2005.
Over the past year overall occupancy in the emirate's hotels and hotel apartments was 82 per cent compared to 74 per cent in 2005. The total number of hotels and hotel apartments in Sharjah increased to 74 in 2006, (24 hotels, and 50 hotel apartments) compared to 57 hotels and hotel apartments in 2005 (20 hotels and 37 hotel apartments). Accordingly the number of hotel rooms increased to 3237 in 2006 from 2797 in 2005 while the number of hotel apartment rooms increased to 2843 in 2006, compared to 2114 in 2005.
On the amount of guests, the total figure increased to 1.315745 million in hotels and hotel apartments in 2006; of which 693,528 stayed in hotels, and 622,217 in hotel apartments. In 2005 the figure was 1.295896, of which 684,655 stayed in hotels, and 611,241 stayed in hotel apartments.
Figures go on to show that the total number of occupied room nights rose last year to 1,355,266 This figure includes: 813,065 for hotels, and 542,201 for the hotel apartments, compared to 1,332,422 in 2005, in which 798,144 where for hotels, and 534,278 for hotel apartments.
GCC tourists made up 30 per cent of hotel occupants in 2006, while 13 per cent came from other Arab countries. European tourists were 15 per cent, Asian tourists 16 per cent, CIS 20 per cent, while the rem-aining six per cent was made up by Americans, Cana-dians, African, and Pacific tourists.
“This growth in Sharjah's tourism sector indicates clearly the increased volume of tourists visiting the emirate, which has garnered a good position on the international tourism map,” said Mohamed A Al Noman, director general of SCTDA. “The authority is working according to a clear strategy to develop the tourism sector of Sharjah by targeting international markets, and organizing events and activities that further promote the emirate through tourism, trade fairs and promotional tours. The statistics reflect the changes occurring in the tourism sector in Sharjah, and the positive outcome of our efforts throughout the year.”