Sharjah is set to introduce a new electronic payment system, Tahseel, in July for all hotels and hospitality sector to help hospitality industry and boost tourist services in the emirate.

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority and the Central Financial Department hosted a workshop this week to prepare for the launch of the new e-payment system, paving the way for smoother transactions and services in the industry.

The Authority also organised another workshop to introduce a new statistics system for the hospitality industry in an attempt to promote a healthy tourism and investment environment and support commercial and tourism sectors in the emirate.  The electronic statistics system that comes into effect from next month will link the hotel and tourism industry in the emirate to a central data base. This will in turn help the Sharjah Tourism Authority to monitor the arrivals of tourists and constantly update the statistics of the industry.

Commenting on the new payment system, Maysoon Al-Hosni, Manager, Tourism Standards Department at the SCTDA, said that Sharjah’s cultural, economic and social progress has been constant and flourishing because of its tourism sector.  “The emirate’s tourism industry has not just attracted visitors from around the world in unprecedented numbers in recent years but has hosted landmark economic events and art and culture festivals concentrating on different areas such as industry, commerce, tourism, arts, theatre and also cultural and creative forums that in turn contributed in attracting more tourists that reached 1.5 million last year last year to the emirate,” she pointed out. The tourism sector has indeed become the focal point of the world’s interest in the emirate that has come to be celebrated as the cultural capital of the Arab and Islamic world, she said.

The SCTDA official underscored the need for benefiting from the latest technological advancements to help and boost the tourism sector and greater cooperation between the government and private sector in all sectors.

The workshop on the Tahseel e-payment system was supervised by the Central Finance Department officials. During the workshop several suggestions were made by the participants to improve the services offered to the tourists.  There was also emphasis on better communication and coordination between different players of the industry. The SCTDA has been working with the hotel sector to ensure high quality services are provided to the visitors from around the world.  Workshops and meetings are held all through the year address the industry’s concerns and issues.