A report released by the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Department (SCTDA) indicates that the total number of guests staying in Sharjah’s hotel apartments in the month of July reached 68,363, a 14 percent increase as compared to the 59,888 guests reported for the corresponding period last year.

During the same period, the number of hotel apartments nights increased by 12 percent from July 2009 figures of 58,722 hotel nights to 65,626, while the emirate’s hotel occupancy rate rose from 64 percent in July 2009 to 70 percent in July 2010.

The SCTDA’s statistics show that GCC tourists remained the top visitors to Sharjah in July 2010, accounting for 45 percent of total tourist arrivals, followed by tourists from other Arab countries (20%), Asian tourists (18%), European tourists (12%) and tourists from the Commonwealth, USA, Africa and Pacific region (5%).

“Statistics show that Sharjah has become a destination of choice for GCC tourists. More than 30,000 GCC tourists visited the emirate in July, a figure that emphasises the feasibility of presence in this important market and the necessity of providing more offers for GCC tourists. This will help promote the success of Sharjah’s tourism sector, and can be partly accomplished through the continuing organisation of the GCC promotional tours that the SCTDA has been involved with for the last nine years,” said HE Mohamed A. Al Noman, Director General of the SCTDA.

The SCTDA, in co-operation with Air Arabia and representatives from the emirate’s tourism sector, has also organised a promotional tour across a number of European capitals and held meetings with tourism companies in Turkey, Belgium, Greece, Kazakhstan and the Ukraine, where tourism and travel companies and agencies expressed significant interest in what makes Sharjah such a unique destination on the world’s tourism map.