Sharjah, UAE, January 18, 2016: Having previous held key managerial positions with world renowned hospitality brands, Mr Michael Kasch has been with Rotana since 2011. The most integral driving force behind hotel operations at Centro Sharjah for the last two years, he gives us here extensive insight into current trends transforming the tourism & hospitality sector of Sharjah.
As we swiftly move into the year’s last quarter, a major highlight has been the overall distinctly busy operations where we are averaging occupancy levels of 90 percent. The decline of Russian in bound travel to the Middle East region due to the devaluation of the rouble and the overall plunge in passenger travel from CIS countries has had an impact in business growth versus the preceding year. However our strategic location, in close proximity to Sharjah airport and Saif Zone companies along with The Centro Brand positioned as a modern and affordable Hotel has prevented a stall in business.
Performing feeder markets & sustainable strategies:
Currently performing markets in Sharjah continue to be GCC countries, CIS countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia and the notable influx of Chinese tourists. Success in these markets is rightfully attributed to various self-sustaining initiatives taken by stakeholders in the Emirate like -
- Air Arabia’s recent entry into the Chinese Market, a major stride by the Airline to increase Chinese tourists
- SCTDA’s consistent participation in road shows, targeting The Emirates feeder markets and fortified relations with Tour Operators.
- The Emirate being recognised as the Cultural hub in the region attracting not only a large pool of families but also attracting smaller niche markets looking for greater learning and cultural exploration
The Emirate of Sharjah has indeed made its presence on the Global Tourism map as one of the favourite destinations for millions of travellers. This has all been possible through allied efforts of SCTDA and various stakeholders in aviation, tourism and the hospitality industry. To cater to this anticipated demand, it will be of utmost importance that these industries continue to work in a collaborative framework and provide their perennial support in developing the infrastructure that supports the demand.
Sharjah Vision 2021, embracing opportunities and addressing challenges…
SCTDA recently unveiled the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, an ambitious vision to attract 10 million tourists to the Emirate by year 2021. The vision, instilling a sudden sense of euphoria among stake holders, has sparked great anticipation of the direct impact on the longevity of our businesses. It could be rightly said that not only will business from feeder markets flourish, but also envisioned is the creation of new ones and various niche markets catering to each of the four pillars the vision is based on. This will further enhance occupancy during both busy and lean periods. It will be essential for hotels to position their marketing strategy in line with the visions pillars and provide guests with great value for money. Additionally, revenue management would have to be given a new approach keeping in mind the competition with the influx of New Hotel Chains.
Sharjah has already taken multitude of steps in positioning itself as a top notch family destination and the regions Cultural hub. A large pool of existing projects by Shurooq, SCTDA and the multiple heritage destinations in The Emirate are the focal point of this achievement. Innovative tourism solutions for guests along with world class facilities will undisputedly enhance the tourism industry holistically in the Emirate. As new tourism projects are launched, Hotels need to play a pivotal role in driving guests by building their interest to try the new experience. New communication touch points and solutions must be explored in conveying the message to the consumer. Vision 2021 aims to revolutionise the tourism experience in Sharjah and we are exhilarated to be a part of this journey.