Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority Unveils Four Innovative Services During GITEX
The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) today unveiled four innovative projects designed to further boost the competitiveness of Sharjah’s tourism sector at the premier GITEX Technology Week 2019 at Dubai World Trade Centre. SCTDA joined the Sharjah Pavilion along with other key local government and private sector entities taking part at the five-day GITEX.
SCTDA introduced a number of technology-driven projects to the hundreds of thousands of interested visitors from across the world who attended the biggest tech show in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. The Authority’s high-level team is on hand during the event to showcase the projects’ advanced features as well as address all visitor queries.
The ‘AI Tour Guide Chatbot,’ a 24/7 voice-and text-based chatbot, developed to provide the latest information about Sharjah to tourists. The interactive tour guide chatbot, which is accessible via WhatsApp, a mobile app, SCTDA’s website, and Facebook messenger, shares accurate details about the emirate’s top tourist destinations, must-do activities, world-class accommodations, leading restaurants, and much more.
The project is the result of SCTDA’s initiative to incorporate the latest technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), into its tourism programs to better highlight Sharjah’s renowned beauty and hospitality while enhancing visitor experience. The ‘AI Tour Guide Chatbot’ supports five languages, including Arabic, English, German, Chinese, and Russian, and can recognize various Arabic accents.
Also launching is the ‘Smart Hotel Licensing and Classification’ system. This project fully automates the business processes of the Tourism Standard Department. It covers various service modules such as the ‘Hotel Establishment Registration and Online Application’ of all licensing-related services; inspection; violation management; hotel establishment classification management for classification and grading system; and assessment management allowing SCTDA to supervise all assessment information.
The system also has a ‘Partner Interface,’ which provides an interface to the hotel establishment to review information relating to their establishments. It also enables them to initiate and track their applications with SCTDA, therefore providing a one-stop shop for all possible functions within the boundary of the system. It automates all the transactions of the specified services and supports all kinds of workflows. External customers can register, customize an account and start using the services upon approval of their applications.
The third project is called the ‘Smart Vehicle Permit System,’ which aims to reduce time spent in managing vehicle permit applications as well as other transactions for desert tour or safari vehicles. The multi-purpose online system aides in the faster issuance of permits and vehicle stickers. It issues electronic permits and vehicle stickers with countermeasures to thwart duplication and forgeries. The system is also equipped with smart workflows that identify the process and automatically assign the application to the responsible individual in the chain for action. It also
automates fines and fees computation along with the integration of payment using credit cards and Tahseel Management dashboard, with access to various reports and analytics.
Last but not the least is the ‘Hotel Statistics System- Business Intelligence (HSS – BI) solution.’ This user-friendly system collates on-the-spot guest data and statistics on multiple variables such as nationality, length of stay, and revenue, occupancy rates among others. It also enables the user to interact smartly using the interactive tools in the dashboard to make and customize reports, aiding decision makers in making necessary judgments.
H.E Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, said: “These latest projects reflect our commitment to introducing technology-driven ideas that will promote Sharjah as a world-class tourist destination with a wide range of leisure, cultural, and entertainment activities. We are confident that these initiatives will help accelerate the fulfillment of the main goal of Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, which is to attract 10 million tourists to our shores. The projects launched today at GITEX are also aligned with our unwavering support to the UAE’s efforts to promote innovation and creativity on all fronts.”
“Over the years, we have witnessed how technology has transformed the hospitality and tourism landscape. It has helped reduce costs, enhance operational efficiency, and improve services and customer experience. We want to emphasize this role even further. Continuous innovation is one of the Authority's strategies and we target that by end of 2019, we can provide innovative digital channels and tools that serve all individuals and institutions. Our participation at GITEX aims to highlight the benefits of these projects and their positive impact on Sharjah’s tourism sector. We also want to emphasize the importance of keeping pace with the global changes taking place within the sector where there is an ongoing shift towards a future that works on smart platforms and services that can be accomplished in no time and with the push of a button,” the Chairman added.
Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority
The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) was established in accordance with Emiri decree no. 5 for 1996, with the primary objective of promoting the emirate of Sharjah through planning and laying down strategies to promote tourism and commerce, undertaking activities to market and promote the emirate, and conducting appropriate market studies and surveys, including economic and social studies, and field studies and surveys.
As a public authority with a corporate body and independent budget, finance and administration systems, the SCTDA focuses on actively promoting the commerce and tourism activities within the emirate of Sharjah and increasing local, regional and international awareness of the emirate as a top tourism and commerce destination.
The SCTDA is committed to exploring and exploiting new and existing ways to promote the emirate, including participation in international exhibitions, conferences and other relevant events, and is also responsible for organising and hosting events taking place within Sharjah, including the annual Sharjah Water Festival and F1 Powerboat Grand Prix.