Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) is leading a tourism promotion roadshow across India this week visiting the five cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru (Bangalore). Sharjah received more than 123,000 visitors from India last year, registering 41 per cent growth in visitors over the previous year.
India has been identified as a priority market for Sharjah tourism and the SCTDA expects further growth in tourist numbers during the coming years. India is one of world’s fastest growing outbound tourism markets, growing by 12% over the past six years, while spending on international tourism has doubled. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), 50 million outbound tourists are expected to travel from India by 2020.
Sharjah’s close proximity to India, make it a low-cost destination to visit, being under 3.5 hours flight time from New Delhi and about 3 hours from Mumbai. The five-city tourism roadshow was organised in cooperation with Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia, the largest low-cost carrier operator in the Middle East and North Africa, which currently operates 111 flights to 13 cities in India. Indian carriers Jet Airways and SpiceJet also operate flights to Sharjah.
Sharjah has proved popular with Indian visitors, not only because of its cultural heritage and calendar of cultural events, but also for Sharjah Cricket Stadium’s popularity for one-day international cricket matches. The popular Indian Premier League 7 cricket tournament held 15 of it’s spring season matches at the Sharjah’s 27,000 seat stadium earlier this year.
In addition to tourist visitors, Sharjah is a long-standing destination for business visitors from India, due to the emirate’s thriving manufacturing sector, free-zones, world-class meeting and conference facilities and strategic location. Sharjah’s world-class education institutions offer opportunities for Indian students.
The tourism industry is currently enjoying the benefits of Sharjah’s year as the Islamic Culture Capital, while next year the sector is expected to receive a further boost as Sharjah has been voted the Arab Tourism Capital 2015.
Source: SCTDA, media