The Emirate of Sharjah has secured the award for Best Arab World Exhibitor at the International Tourism Bourse, (ITB 2008), the world’s largest tourism and travel trade show.
The Cologne Business School selected Sharjah for the prestigious award among 11,000 stands from a multitude of participants from around the globe, including Arab and GCC countries.
ITB Berlin attracts a large gathering of international media each year, and serves as one of the focal points for the world’s tourism and business sectors.
Since their launch 8 years ago, the ITB- Cologne Business School awards have become highly sought-after, and are counted among the most important tourism awards worldwide, attracting significant numbers of entries from all over the world each year.
Subdivided into 10 categories, entries are evaluated according to research, studies and assessments done by the Cologne Business School over the course of the exhibition, and stands are judged on several design aspects, namely creativity, promotional and informative materials and activities provided, and personnel and services offered.
The Sharjah stand not only received the award for Best Exhibitor in this category, but also attracted more than 20 thousand visitors.
Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority received the award at a gala presentation ceremony which was attended by Mr. Klaus Laepple, President of the German Travel Association, Lord Mayor Fritz Sharma, Prof Advan Morlek, President of the Business College at Cologne University, Peter Clause, General Coordinator of ITB 2008 and H.E Mohamed A. Al Noman, Director General of the SCTDA.
Sheikh Sultan affirmed that this award, the second of its kind at ITB, was in recognition of the SCTDA’s outstanding efforts and excellence in representing the emirate of Sharjah at the international level.
‘This world-class achievement is a significant addition to the SCTDA’s series of successes and milestones, and will encourage us to redouble our efforts at boosting Sharjah’s position on the world tourism map. We have always been keen to achieve excellence in response to the noble directives and unlimited support of H.H Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, member of the Supreme Council , ruler of Sharjah,’ he added.
Commenting on this occasion, H.E Mohamed A. Al Noman, Director General of the SCTDA, said, ‘ITB is the world’s largest travel and tourism meeting ground, and throughout our involvement in this event over the last 10 years, we have always been keen to create a strong presence for Sharjah. We are proud to receive this award for the second consecutive year. This serves as motivation to us to continue to be creative and to strive for excellence.’
‘We were keen to excel in both function and appearance, which is why we expanded the SCTDA’s stand to 303m² exhibition – 73% larger than last year’s 176m² stand – in order to showcase diverse aspects of Sharjah’s rich heritage and culture. We distributed bilingual promotional materials to visitors in both, German and English, featuring all of Sharjah’s main attractions. The was also distinguished by several other elements, such as symbols of Arab hospitality and some traditional activities such as Henna painting,’ Al Noman added.
Sharjah’s participation falls in line with the emirate’s ambitious strategy to attract international tourism and is consistent with the SCTDA’s plans to achieve a strong presence for the Emirate of Sharjah on the world map, oiling the wheels of tourism growth in Sharjah, which is becoming increasingly popular among tourists from all over the world.
Sharjah has become one of the region’s most prominent tourist destinations due to its wealth of tourist attractions.
ITB is the world’s most prestigious meeting place for key travel and tourism players, and serves as a focal point for the world’s tourism and business sectors every year, attracting more than 10 000 exhibitors annually, 30% of whom are foreigners.