In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the Federal Supreme Council, to further develop and enhance Sharjah’s infrastructure and facilities for the tourism sector, and under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, the 5th Sharjah Hospitality Forum (SHF), organized by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), opened today (Wednesday, November 14, 2018) at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Center, under the theme ‘Trends of Millennials and Budget Tourism,’ highlighting the role of these demographics in shaping and driving the sector’s key trends.
As efforts to further develop the emirate's hospitality sector are being intensified to make it an ideal destination for visitors and tourists, including millennials, from all over the world, the hosting of the event complements the pursuit of the goals set by the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, which aims to attract more than 10 million tourists to the emirate by the year 2021,.
Understanding and catering to the tourism and travel needs of the millennial traveler has become imperative in effectively expanding the tourism and travel industry. In light of these developments, the latest edition of the Hospitality Industry Forum brings together all hotel establishments in Sharjah, stakeholders, real estate investors, local government departments, and tour operators to discuss and explore ways to make the emirate’s tourism and hospitality sector more appealing to budget globetrotters and millennials.
By bringing together leading experts and tourism industry professionals, the fifth Sharjah Hospitality Forum will facilitate the exchange of expertise and knowledge to gain insights that will benefit the future of tourism in the region. During the forum, a series of panel discussions will cover topics ranging from the impact of millennials and the effect of low-cost airlines on the travel and tourism industry among other subjects; the profitability of budget hotels will also be on the agenda. H.E Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, will also recognize the efforts of the participating panelists for their contributions to the development of innovative solutions addressing the challenges faced by the hospitality industry.
His Excellency Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, said: “The hosting of the fifth Sharjah Hospitality Forum highlights SCTDA’s keenness to take advantage of market analysis, reports and insights from leading industry experts. We believe that the integration of these findings in our strategy will add significant momentum to the growth of the emirate’s tourism sector, which contributed more than AED 9 billion to the total gross domestic product (GDP) of AED 102.5 billion, accounting for 8.8 per cent of the total contribution of tourism and travel sector to the GDP.”
The Forum’s speakers this year include global hospitality and tourism experts including Michel Julian an officer from the United Nations World Tourism Organizations (UNWTO), Gheed El Makkaoui, Assistant General Manager of Careem in the UAE; Mamoun Hmedan, Managing Director, Wego Middle East, North Africa and India and Jesse Desjardins, the creator of the Guest Experience Map.